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  2. Hello, and welcome to our new series which picks out interesting things that we'd love someone to make a game about. This isn't a chance for us to pretend we're game designers, more an opportunity to celebrate the range of subjects games can tackle and the sorts of things that seem filled with glorious gamey promise. For years, the night sky could be found arranged neatly in a bunch of folders stacked in a huge system of filing cabinets in research department libraries around the world. The night sky captured as a set of images called the Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, or POSS for short. The POSS is a series of almost 2000 photographic plates of the stars, taken on the 48-inch Schmidt telescope at Palomar Observatory, largely over the course of the 1950s. The first photographic plate was exposed in November 1949 and the last in December 1958. Each 14-inch plate shows an area of the sky "that looks about as big as your fully outstretched hand held at arm's length," explains the astronomer Mike Brown, writing about POSS with obvious fondness in his book, How I Killed Pluto - and Why it had it Coming. (Amongst other things, Brown discovered Eris, a Kuiper Belt object that ultimately led to Pluto being reclassified as a dwarf planet. His book is an absolute delight.) Read more View the full article
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  4. Developer Picroma has announced that Cube World, its very-long-in-the-works voxel-based action-RPG, will be holding a closed beta next week, ahead of its official launch later this year. Cube World, which first surfaced all the way back in 2013, is intended to offer an exploration-focussed take on the action-RPG genre, with its procedurally generated open-world promising to deliver a different experience on each play-through. Although Cube World's $15 USD alpha version was enjoyable in its own right, its successes have long been overshadowed by the fact that its developer Wolfram von Funck embarked on an extended period of radio silence not long after launch, with whole years passing between social media posts - something that von Funck attributed to mental health issues in a recent, candid blog post. Read more View the full article
  5. Following the much-delayed release of Anthem's Cataclysm update last month, BioWare says it will be ditching its originally announced post-launch content plans, and will now be delivering "seasonal updates" in place of its regular planned "acts" while it focusses on on "core issues". When BioWare initially revealed its post-launch content plans for Anthem back in February, just ahead of what transpired to be the game's less-than-stellar release, it teased three different upcoming Acts. Each would consist of several updates, expanding the world and the activities available to players, and would culminate in a limited-time Catalclysm event, designed to shake up the core experience. Act One was originally planned to go live in March, but many of its features were delayed as BioWare struggled to remedy the numerous technical issues plaguing Anthem following release. It took a total of six months to get the game's first Cataclysm event out the door, and ne'er a word was spoken about the other two planned Acts in the interim - and now we know why. Read more View the full article
  6. Showdown Bandit is Now Available on Steam! Episode One. Something unnatural is stirring on the abandoned sets of the once popular kids puppet show, Showdown Bandit. Play as the awakened Bandit in this stealth-action-horror where your only hope of survival is entangled within the 3 rules of the show: Play your part. Guard your strings. And don’t look up! View the full article
  7. Steam's library view has existed, unwavering, since the birth of time itself (more or less), and few would argue that it wasn't in need of a long-overdue revamp. We've known one was coming for a while now, of course, with various work-in-progress teases, both official and otherwise, having emerged at intervals over the last year or so. Finally, however, Valve's efforts are ready for their public debut, and are available now in beta. Once you've opted in to the beta (which merely requires selecting the appropriate drop-down option from Steam's settings menu), the first thing you'll likely notice is your new library's aesthetic overhaul. That immediately comes into play on the new library landing page, which offers a snapshot of recently played titles, as well as recent activity for select games in your collection - seemingly pulled from developer-created news posts. There's also an overview of recent friend activity, and the ability to display games organised into user-created collections. Steam's library update (which, incidentally, isn't reflected across its Big Picture mode at present) also brings with it new-look pages for individual games. Select a title in your library at random, and you'll be presented with a broad selection of information pertaining to that game, now organised in a manner which doesn't appear to have tumbled out of the 90s. Read more View the full article
  8. It's no secret that E3, once the indisputable highlight of the games industry's announcement calendar, has found itself slowly floundering into irrelevancy in recent years, with an increasing number of publishers foregoing expensive show attendance in favour of more intimate events and livestreams of their own. In response, the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) - the US trade body that runs E3 - is reportedly proposing a radical rebranding of the show for next year, which would turn it into a "fan, media, and influencer festival". All this comes via a leaked pitch deck (as seen by GameDaily.biz) intended for the ESA members, which suggests possible new forms for E3 following member feedback. The core of the proposal revolves around the idea of turning the once-industry-only event into a more consumer-focussed affair, and the ESA's membership has reportedly already approved an additional 15,000 tickets for the general public, bringing total consumer tickets up to 25,000. As part of that change, E3's traditional floor layout could, according to the ESA's proposal, be adjusted to accommodate eight large-scale stage-like "experience hubs" where punters are able to watch influencers and celebrities playing video games - with the organisation suggesting the Los Angeles Lakers playing a basketball game as an example. Read more View the full article
  9. We're pleased to announce that the New Steam Library is now available in open beta – all players can opt-in and try out the new features. Learn about the features of the New LibraryYou can learn more about the features of the New Library from the Library Update page and our recent blog post. How do I join the beta?Opting in to the Steam Client Beta lets you use the latest features before they're released, not just the New Steam Library. Follow the instructions below to participate in the Steam client beta: With Steam running, click on "Steam" in the upper left, then choose the "Settings" menu. (Preferences on Mac) or follow this link[steam//settings]. On the "Account" tab under "Beta Participation" click the "Change..." button. Select the "Steam Beta Update" from the drop down list and click "OK". You will be prompted to restart Steam, please select the "Restart Steam" button. We want to know what you think!We've done our best to make improvements that we believe evolve the Steam Library experience to make it better and more relevant for everyone. Let us know what you think, we'll be making improvements throughout the Beta period. -The Steam Team View the full article
  10. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  11. Sea of Thieves, a game about pirates, is giving a little something away in celebration of Talk Like a Pirate Day - which, should it not already be in your diary for some inexplicable reason, takes place this Thursday, 19th September. Specifically, developer Rare is offering up another piece of Sea of Thieves' Obsidian cosmetics set, which has been doled out in piecemeal fashion since the game launched in March last year. This time, pirates are being given the chance to secure the Obsidian ship cannon, nudging the Obsidian Ship Livery given away as part of July's Twitch Rivals event just that little bit closer toward completion. That just leaves the capstan and wheel to go. In order to secure the Obsidian Cannon, Rare is once again pointing players in the direction of Twitch. This means you'll need to link your Microsoft account to Twitch before you do anything else, and instructions can be found on the Sea of Thieves website. Read more View the full article
  12. Today's Deal: Save 40% on Gato Roboto!* 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 Thursday at 10AM Pacific Time View the full article
  13. Today's Deal: Save 75% on Out of Reach!* 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 September 23 at 10AM Pacific Time View the full article
  14. We should have tested the base consoles first. Instead, we kicked off our Borderlands 3 coverage with a look at how the game ran on Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, where the results were something of a mixed bag, to say the least. Happily, the story is significantly more positive when checking out Borderlands 3 on the standard consoles - it's by no means perfect, there are some frustrating issues, but the fundamentals are sound and the game is fine. Perhaps key to the success of Borderlands 3 on PS4 and Xbox One is the fact that developer Gearbox essentially plays it safe. The evidence suggests that on consoles at least, it's the vanilla PlayStation 4 that is the primary target platform: 1080p is the target resolution with superior performance to the Pro's resolution mode, which targets 1800p - a 178 per cent increase in pixel-count when the console itself only delivers around 2x performance. Obviously, image quality takes a hit by comparison - and there are some issues with more aggressive pop-in and texture streaming. However, frame-rates are much better: easily higher than the Pro's resolution mode, and more consistent than the somewhat wobbly performance mode on the enhanced machine. The best word to describe Borderlands 3 on PS4 would be 'solid' - in the game's initial stages, at least. Beyond that, the game is very similar to the Pro version we've already looked at, in both good and bad ways - close-up, texture work still looks rather rough on all platforms. Read more View the full article
  15. Pokémon Gold and Silver's mysterious Ilex Shrine location famously left Game Boy owners puzzled. Visit the forest location and it is obvious something is supposed to happen there. But nothing ever does. On internet message boards and in playgrounds, rumours circulated there was a way of summoning up Gold and Silver's mythical Pokémon Celebi by doing a specific thing, or bringing a specific item. And it made sense - Celebi is stated to be the Guardian of Ilex Forest, and its Pokémon data was known to exist within the game's files. Read more View the full article
  16. A huge part of any creative endeavour, I suspect, is learning how to stick things together. It's so strange, really, that at the heart of such a mysterious process should be something so deeply, infuriatingly practical. So how do you stick things together? Some of the best film-makers find their movies in the edit, in that frightening, abstract landscape where time is fractured and can spin backwards, forwards, sideways if you want, while, simultaneously, the cutting suite is littered with old Hula-Hoop packets, its tables haloed with coffee stains. It's not just film: Ralph Ellison, when asked why his second novel was taking so many decades to finish, generally replied by saying that he was working on "the transitions." (Also, his house burned down at one point, which can't have helped.) And here is Sayonara Wild Hearts. It's a game I want to shake and then hold to my ear, listening for a rattle, for a hint of the shape of the internal mechanism. In one way, Sayonara Wild Hearts is absolute simplicity. In another it is a dizzying headlong rush of ideas, pranks, nightmares, middle-eights and other glittering fragments. What sticks this together is interaction. You move, you avoid, you collect, you match the rhythm, and around you one thing becomes another, becomes another, becomes another. A highway grows ambitious and launches itself at the sky. A deer bounds across a fractal winter forest. A ship rolls over humpbacked low-poly waves. Onwards! The theme, if you ask me, is heartbreak and bitter romance and the journey through it all, but experienced as it can only be experienced in the teens and early twenties, when the drama is lurid and the setbacks are brutal and echoing and unprecedented. The whole thing is delivered with the vividness and force of a good revenge fantasy. Read more View the full article
  17. Risk of Rain 2 has just been updated! Find out more about the update here. This is the second major content update for Risk of Rain 2 on PC. Skills 2.0 brings brand new content, as well as other general changes and quality of life improvements, to the game. View the full article
  18. Microsoft has announced ticket details for this year's XO19 fan festival, due to be held at London's Copper Box Arena in November. You'll be able to purchase passes priced at £19 per day, with all profits donated to the brilliant UK charity Special Effect which helps people with physical disabilities play video games. Tickets go on sale from 2pm UK time on Tuesday, 1st October. Read more View the full article
  19. Brilliant mobile phone game Mini Metro is getting a sequel of sorts. It's called Mini Motorways, and sees you laying down roads instead of metro lines. Mini Motorways will launch first for iPhone, via subscription service Apple Arcade, this Thursday, 19th September. After that, there's a Steam page for a PC version due in 2020. Read more View the full article
  20. When Martin first saw the Hori Split Pad Pro controller in June he called it "seriously hardcore" and I definitely don't disagree with him. Well, if you've had an eye on it since then, you can now get your very own. Acting like a pair of giant Joy-Con controllers, the Split Pad Pro is intended to give you full-size controller experience when using the Switch in handheld mode. That means larger grips, bigger triggers, a far superior d-pad and some programmable rear buttons for extra features such as turbo mode. It's a substantial piece of kit and one that should definitely have some benefits if you often play some of the more action-heavy Switch games in handheld mode. Understandably, this version is tied in with the release of Daemon X Machina, though I suspect it'll be just as useful with the likes of Astral Chain, too. Read more View the full article
  21. It's true. Running modern games on a vintage CRT monitor produces absolutely outstanding results - subjectively superior to anything from the LCD era, up to and including the latest OLED displays. Best suited for PC players, getting an optimal CRT set-up isn't easy, and prices vary dramatically, but the results can be simply phenomenal. The advantages of CRT technology over modern flat panels are well-documented. CRTs do not operate from a fixed pixel grid in the way an LCD does - instead three 'guns' beam light directly onto the tube. So there's no upscaling blur and no need to run at any specific native resolution as such. On lower resolutions, you may notice 'scan lines' more readily, but the fact is that even lower resolution game outputs like 1024x768 or 1280x960 can look wonderful. Of course, higher-end CRTs can input and process higher resolutions, but the main takeaway here is that liberation from a set native resolution is a gamechanger - why spend so many GPU resources on the amount of pixels drawn when you can concentrate on quality instead without having to worry about upscale blurring? The second advantage is motion resolution. LCD technologies all use a technique known as 'sample and hold' which results in motion rendering at a significantly lower resolution than static imagery. Ever noticed how left/right panning in a football match looks blurrier than static shots on an LCD? This is a classic example of poor motion resolution - something that simply isn't an issue on a CRT. Motion handling on CRT is on another level compared to modern technologies in that every aspect of every frame is rendered identically, to the point where even a 768p presentation may well be delivering more detail in motion than a 4K LCD. Read more View the full article
  22. Dell has begun a 72-hour sale on its UK online store, unlocking a 14 per cent discount on hundreds of laptops, desktops and monitors. More excitingly, Dell is also offering a massive £500 off the brand new XPS 13 2-in-1, a convertible laptop built around Intel's long-awaited 10nm Ice Lake processor family. This particular XPS 13 2-in-1 configuration includes a 13-inch 4K HDR touchscreen, Core i7-1065G7 processor with Iris Plus graphics, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of blazing fast NVMe SSD storage. This laptop drops from £1899 to £1399 when you use code MEGA500 at the checkout, a massive discount considering how new this laptop is. The code first went live yesterday, with the initial stock selling out quickly, so we'd encourage you to act quickly if you're interested. The XPS 13 2-in-1 is one of a small number of announced Project Athena laptops, which must include the latest 10th-generation Intel processors, 8GB of dual-channel RAM and a 256GB or larger NVMe SSD. Thunderbolt 3 and Wi-Fi 6 Gig+ are also required, promising fast wired and wireless connectivity. Most importantly, battery life here should be impressive - each laptop needs to last for at least 16 hours playing back local video or nine hours for wireless web browsing. You can read more about Project Athena in our write-up from earlier this year. Read more View the full article
  23. Heartfelt adventure Knights and Bikes is being turned into a telly series. An animated show has been announced by Tiger Aspect Productions, based off of the Knights and Bikes game and spin-off book series. (Yes, it's already a book series!) If you've not played the game, which launched last month for PC and PlayStation 4, it's an arty mix of The Goonies and some light role-playing from the brains behind Tearaway. It's a clear fit for a cartoon: Read more View the full article
  24. Gears 5 is off to a good start, Microsoft has said, with more than three million people logging on to shoot things with chainsaw guns over its opening weekend. On Microsoft's subscription service Xbox Game Pass, it has now become the "biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation". It's impressive stuff - though that latter stat will have been helped by the fact Xbox Game Pass is now available on PC too, where many have been playing. Read more View the full article
  25. Addictive Nintendo Switch puzzler Tetris 99 has another special event this week, and this one is all about Kirby. You'll unlock a special theme starring Nintendo's pink puffball if you earn at least 100 points in this weekend's Maximus Cup event, between 20th and 23rd September. Specifically, this event ties in to Super Kirby Clash, the new free-to-play Kirby game released earlier this month on Switch. Completing the challenge will also unlock 99 Gem Apples in that game too. Synergy! Read more View the full article
  26. Back in August, Sony revealed four swish new PlayStation 4 controller colours would be launching later this year - and here's where you can now get your hands on them. Electric Purple, Red Camouflage, Titanium Blue and Rose Gold are the fresh choices available to you. Sadly, there's no love for Etsy's Colour of the Year: Burnt Orange. Maybe that'll be in the next batch? But what Sony lacks in following trends it more than makes up for in creating an unnecessarily complicated and fractured system for buying one of these new PS4 controllers. Yay! In the UK, at least, they appear to have given a handful of retailers exclusive rights to sell each different controller. Read more View the full article
  27. Red Candle's Devotion is one of the finest horror games of the past decade, and if you haven't played it already, it's possible you never will. Following its release this spring, the game was found to contain an unflattering reference to China's president, Xi Jinping. The discovery sparked an outcry among Chinese players, leading to the withdrawal of Chinese distributors, the closure of Red Candle's account on Weibo, one of China's largest social media platforms, and the removal of the game from Steam in China. Red Candle, which is based in Taiwan, has apologised at length for what it says was a placeholder asset, accidentally transferred to the final release. These comments were not enough to stem the backlash, however, and a week after sale, the developer pulled the game from Steam in all territories to perform unspecified fixes. Seven months on, it's unclear whether Devotion will ever see daylight again. There is obviously a longer story to tell about how Devotion's fate reflects the Chinese state's sensitivity to criticism, the culture of Chinese patriotism online, and the country's strained relationship with Taiwan, but when I approached Red Candle for an interview in February, it was simply to hear about the creation of a complex and powerful artwork. Set across three periods in the cramped domestic life of a mother, father and daughter in 1980s Taiwan, Devotion ties prejudices about mental illness to the pressure of gender expectations and the lure of the irrational in troubled times. Like its equally accomplished predecessor, Detention, it is both a wonderfully scary game and an intricate account of the socio-historical forces at work within a small group at people. There was much to discuss, and naturally, the conversation below contains extensive spoilers. I've read that you didn't intend Devotion to be a 3D first-person game at first. What was the original plan, and why did you decide to make the change to 3D? Read more View the full article
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