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  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here. View the full article
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
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