$4 million in refunds doesn’t worry developer of PC survival game ‘Rust’

 

Imagine a $4 million loss sliding off your back like it’s no big deal. Well, Rust developer Garry Newman doesn’t have to imagine it at all.

All told, Facepunch Studios gave out $4 million in refunds — which is only 6 percent of the total sales Rust has made since its soft launch release on Steam’s Early Access platform three and a half years ago, according to an interview Newman did with PCGamesN.

 

The whole point of Rust is to survive its world, and you’re not given a lot of tools to help you do that. Here’s how the game is described on its website:

Rust’s world is harsh. The environment is not kind. Bears and wolves will chase and kill you. Falling from a height will kill you. Being exposed to radiation for an extended period will kill you. Starving will kill you. Being cold will kill you. Other players can find you, kill you, and take your stuff.

It’s not exactly the most forthcoming game and — like a lot of other world-building, player-driven PC games like DayZ — it can have a fairly steep learning curve.

So Newman isn’t exactly surprised that a lot of people didn’t get his game and asked for a refund in the name of a lack of fun. It’s not for everyone.

 

Rocket League for Nintendo Switch Announced With Exclusive Features: Nintendo at E3 2017

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Rocket League is coming to the Nintendo Switch
It will be available this holiday season
PS4 owners will not be able to play with Switch, PC, and Xbox One players
Rocket League is coming to the Nintendo Switch. Developer Psyonix announced this at Nintendo’s E3 2017 event with a Holiday 2017 release date. The game fuses together racing and sports as you chase a football in a rocket-propelled car. It became a runaway success when it initially released in 2015 on Windows PC and PS4. Psyonix detailed what’s new and different this time around.

Rocket League Nintendo Switch exclusives
Specific battle-cars and customisation items such as Mario and Luigi hat toppers would be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

Rocket League Nintendo Switch content and features
Psyonix confirmed that all of the content, features, and updates the game has got on other platforms like the PS4, Xbox One, and PC will be available on the Nintendo Switch as well.Rocket League for Nintendo Switch Announced With Exclusive Features: Nintendo at E3 2017

Rocket League Nintendo Switch mode support
Rocket League will support all of the Nintendo Switch’s play modes including:
TV Mode (docked)
Tabletop Mode
Handheld Mode
Local Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer (upto eight players)
Rocket League Nintendo Switch cross-platform play explained
Rocket League on the Nintendo Switch will support online multiplayer between Steam and Xbox One versions of the game. Much like Minecraft, PS4 owners will not be able to partake in the fun just yet.

 

Tencent to Limit Honor of Kings Play Time for Kids Amid Addiction Worries

 

Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest gaming and social media firm by revenue, said it would limit play time for some young users of Honor of Kings from Tuesday, amid claims that children were getting addicted to the popular mobile game.

Parents and teachers have complained that children were becoming addicted to the multiplayer online battle game, which, according to the company, has more than 200 million users, making it the world’s most popular game of its kind.

Users below 12 years of age will be limited to one hour of play time each day, while those aged between 12 years and 18 years will be limited to two hours a day, Tencent said.

The firm also plans to ban users under 12 years from logging in after 9pm (1300 GMT or 6:30pm IST) and will impose further restrictions on how much money younger users spend on the game, it added.

“There are no rules to prevent indulgence in online games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parental worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off,” Tencent said on its official WeChat account.

Tencent, which has a portfolio of over 200 games, also said it would upgrade a parental-control platform rolled out earlier this year that makes it easier for parents to monitor their children’s gaming account activities.
It will also step up the requirement of real-name registration for all users, it said.Tencent to Limit Honor of Kings Play Time for Kids Amid Addiction Worries

The fantasy role-playing game based on Chinese historical characters raked in a revenue of more than CNY 5.5 billion ($810.47 million or roughly Rs. 5,247 crores) in the first quarter, Chinese gaming industry database CNG estimates. China’s mobile gaming revenue grew by CNY 4.5 billion to CNY 27.5 billion (roughly Rs. 26,232 crores) over the period, the biggest growth in two years.

Tencent, which declines to provide a revenue breakdown of its games, made CNY 12.9 billion from smartphone games in the first quarter, according to its financial report.

According to mobile data intelligence firm Jiguang, Honor of Kings has become China’s most popular game in recent months, doubling its monthly active users to 163 million in May compared with December. More than half of its users are below 24 years of age, including more than a quarter below 19 years, it said.

China is the world’s largest gaming market by revenue, and is expected to account for roughly 25 percent of global game sales in 2017, according to research firm NewZoo.

 

Jed Whitaker’s top lit and or turnt games of 2016 fam

 

ing cat dressed up as your favorite Nintendo characters that can drive a cat-sized tank, so there is that.

Boy, that sequel to Nier looks fantastic, eh? Well, what if I told you that there exists a budget-priced title that plays very similarly to the first game, has a nice big map, an incredible story, and tight combat? I’d imagine you’d be inclined to believe me since it is in my top games of the year and is called Anima: Gate of Memories. Just be warned, the first 30 minutes almost made me shut the game off, but after a rough start it hits its stride and is addicting.

I bought in hard to VR and I honestly regret it. Out of all the games I’ve played I’d say there’s one or two tops on each headset worth playing, but nowhere near the asking prices of the “privilege goggles.” The Gallery: Call of the Starseed is one of those games. It’s a dark fantasy adventure puzzle game that hearkens back to films from the 1980s, as another game on this very list does. If you get a chance to play it, take it. Rumor on the street is the rest of the series is going to be loosely based on classic dark fantasy films such as Labyrinth, and The NeverEnding Story. I’ll dust off my Vive for sequels for sure.

The more colorful and fun (in my opinion) lovechild of Nuclear Throne and Binding of Isaac is the adorable yet difficult Enter the Gungeon. If you’re into randomly generated levels, hoping good weapons drop, and tons of secrets and unlockables in Zelda-esque dungeons, you gotta give this one a play. I especially love the dodge roll mechanic that makes you temporarily invulnerable and the ability to flip over tables to hide behind as you push them about. Simple but effective.

Oxenfree, the other 1980s-inspired dark fantasy adventure game on my list, has a killer soundtrack, gripping story with plenty of twists and turns, and the best writing of any game I played this year. This is the Stranger Things of video games, and sadly it seems most people passed up on it. The story is essentially The Goonies meets Stephen King’s It on an island with ghosts. Sold yet?

Surprise! One of the best games of the year is objectively Metroid Prime: Federation Force, regardless of any petitions for fans wanting some other mythical game they made up in their heads.

Check it, it has all the makings of a good game: an engaging story mode that can be played solo or with three other players (local or online), a frantic competitive online mode that combines soccer with a genre you wouldn’t expect (just like the highly popular Rocket League), and tons of unlockable skins. All things that people love in 2016! Plus it feels like the most authentic Metroid game I’ve played since the other Prime games, especially when played alone. You get that sense of wonder and loneliness the series is known for. Honestly, it’s the best FPS on the 3DS, though it doesn’t have strong competition.

You’ll notice that the microtransaction carrot dangler Overwatch isn’t on my list because obviously, Battleborn is better than it is. Thing is, they are completely different games in adjacent genres and play nothing alike. Battleborn is more of a MOBA with a story mode and various multiplayer modes without all the hassle of most games in the genre. The characters are chatty Cathys but oh so loveable with tons of much catchier and entertaining lines than Overwatch.

If only the publishers hadn’t pitted these games against each other and let them exist on their own without some stupid war like the whole “Halo killer” Killzone bullshit, Battleborn probably would have done alright. Now there is basically no one playing on PC and the console versions are hideous and hard to play at an ancient 30fps. Even so, I love Battleborn and I just wish everyone gave it a chance instead of doing what everyone was good at in 2016: picking sides and hoping the other one dies.

My personal pick for game of the year unsurprisingly goes to Owlboy, a game that I consider perfect, which is unsurprising thanks to its nearly 10-year development. The pixel art is some of the best I’ve ever seen, the soundtrack is up there with Zelda and Cave Story as one of my favorites of all time, the story is gripping, and the characters are memorable, lovable, and downright charming. I love Owlboy so much that I’d even go as far to say that not only is it the best game of the year, it is certainly in my top three games of all-time, if not my favorite game of all time. Please, buy it, love it, and support it. D-Pad Studio legit has earned and deserves your money.

So there we have it, another perfect list of games in a very shitty year. Some notable games are missing from this list other than Overwatch, but you can mostly assume I just haven’t had the time to play them like Doom and Titanfall 2. Also, Hearthstone is still one of my top games, but why tell you the obvious in a giant paragraph? I look forward to my list of games in 2017 that will surely include many Nintendo Switch games and a bucket-load of Steam games.

Hitman FREE – First episode of game free on PS4, Xbox One and PC from today

 

The first episode of Hitman from today will be free on PS4, Xbox One and PC
The first location in the IO Interactive game, the Playground, features two story missions, two Escalation contracts and more than 40 challengers.Hitman is completely free to play on the PS4, Xbox One and PC from today and is NOT a limited-time offer.

The first episode will be free to download from 5pm BST today, or if you’re in other European countries 6pm CEST.

If you choose to buy the full game your save data and everything you earn during your Hitman playthrough will carry over.

You can also get 60 per cent off the price of the full Hitman game this week on all platforms.

Hakan Abrak, CEO of IO Interactive, said: “I’m proud to announce that our first hello as an independent studio is to invite all gamers to play the beginning of HITMAN for free.“There is a lot of love out there for HITMAN and with this offering we hope that many more will fall in love with the game. We believe that this is Hitman at its best. So jump in and give a try.”

The offer comes after IO Interactive on Friday secured an agreement with Square Enix to become an independent studio.

They also retained the rights to the Hitman franchise.After the agreement last week was announced, Abrak said: “This is a watershed moment for IOI.

“As of today, we have complete control over the direction for our studio and the Hitman IP – we’re about to forge our own future and it’s incredibly exciting.

“We are now open to opportunities with future collaborators and partners to help strengthen us as a studio and ensure that we can produce the best games possible for our community.”

The latest version of the Hitman franchise initially received backlash from fans after taking a new, episodic release structure. The full season was later released as one standalone title.

However, the game has since received a warm reception from critics and fans, with a strong 84 per cent rating on Metacritic based on 40 different reviews.Hitman free on PS4, Xbox One and PC

HITMAN FREE – WHAT YOU GET IN FIRST EPISODE• The ICA Facility will be available as a free download on PS4, Xbox One and PC
• The download includes everything released for that location
• Two story missions (including all cut-scenes)
• Two Escalation Contracts
• More than 40 challenges
• 17 achievements and trophies
• Plus thousands of player-created missions in Contracts Mode
• Players who download the ICA Facility for free will be able to keep all of their progress when they upgrade to the full game

 

Cheap FFXIV: Stormblood as PC Game Summer Sales Begin

 

The PC Gaming Summer Sales have stormed in.

The lands of the east are now open, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is officially released. Rather than fork over the full $40 price for the expansion, PC gamers can upgrade at GMG and catch a 17% discount to $33.29. Authorized Mog Station key deal (the non-Steam version) saving you about $7. Same percent discount available for the Collector’s Edition at GMG..Login or create an account to see their best VIP price.

Waiting on bated breath for the Steam Summer Sale? GamersGate has jumped the gun and launched their own 2017 PC Gaming Summer Sale this week. Discounts on hundreds of titles up to 92% off. The top notable deals include hot offers on Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2Far Cry 4, the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise, and Killing Floor 2.image

While GameStop hasn’t technically begun their 2017 Summer Sale, they do have a boat load of titles up to 80% off. Despite the generic name PC Gaming Sale, it is not a typical round of PC discounts at GameStop. We’re seeing the lowest price ever on Dark Souls III and its Deluxe Edition (which includes the Season Pass). Also notable are discounts on The Sims 4 plus its many expansion packs, Grand Theft Auto V for $29.99, and Tales of Berseria.

 

PS4 Pro Competes With Xbox One S, Not Xbox One X: Microsoft

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xbox boss Phil Spencer claims the PS4 Pro is not Xbox One X competition
  • Rather, he believes the PS4 Pro should be compared to the Xbox One S
  • He also admitted the company could do better with getting exclusive games

The Xbox One X aka Xbox Scorpio was revealed at E3 2017 by Microsoft. With most of the event focussing on what the company claims is the world’s most powerful console ever, it has now gone on the offensive, taking shots at the PS4 Pro from Sony.

“I look at [PS4] Pro as more of a competitor to [Xbox One] S than I do to Xbox One X,” claims Spencer in an interview with Eurogamer. “This is a true 4K console. If you just look at the specs of what this box is, it’s in a different league than any other console that’s out there.” Spencer mentions 40 percent more GPU speed, more RAM, and the speed of storage as the advantages of the Xbox One X over the PS4 Pro, but he also berates Sony’s methods for getting to 4K resolutions with some of its games. “When I think about techniques to somehow manufacture a 4K screen like what some other consoles try to do, this is different than that.” Spencer also says he expects the majority of consoles that Microsoft sells next year will be Xbox One S.PS4 Pro Competes With Xbox One S, Not Xbox One X: Microsoft

nd while he might be right in terms of specifications, despite lacking VR support, Microsoft has truly dropped the ball on its games. Barring Forza Motorsport 7, there were no big AAA games from the company to prop up the Xbox One X at launch. Spencer admitted that this is a concern.

“I do think we have an opportunity to get better in first-party and to grow,” he said. “We’ve got great support from the company to go do that.”

Much like the PS4 Pro and PS4, the Xbox One X shares the same library of games as the Xbox One and Xbox One S, while Sony has belted out a wealth of great PS4 and PS4 Pro exclusives along with support from third-party developers, optimising for the PS4 Pro hasn’t exactly been a priority for most game makers what with the likes of Prey and Injustice 2 offering incremental upgrades at best. If the Xbox One X gets support outside of its launch window remains to be seen.

 

E3 2017: Sony’s PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

 

The 6 Best New Android Apps And Games

 

The phone you have now might be more powerful than a supercomputer from the early 90s, but that won’t do you any good unless you have cool software for it to run. You need good apps and games. The problem, though, is figuring out which of the many new titles in the Play Store are worth your time. Well, here they are. After many hours of toil and testing, these are the best new apps and games you can get on Android right now.

Firefox Focus (Free)

The trend lately has been for browsers to do as many things as possible, but that’s not what Firefox Focus is about. This browser runs on the same engine as other versions of Firefox, but it eschews things like extensions, tabs, and even bookmarks in the name of privacy.

Firefox Focus

Ryan Whitwam

Firefox Focus

When you open Firefox Focus, all you have is a search/address bar. That opens a single tab, and that’s all you get. You can use the floating action button at any time while browsing to close the page and clear data. There’s also a notification that does the same.

Focus defaults to blocking all ads and most trackers. You can shut this feature off in the menu if that breaks a page, but most of the time it just makes pages load faster and use less data. And of course, there’s the privacy aspect. Firefox Focus is free to download.

Neon Chrome ($9.99)

There have been plenty of top-down shooters on Android, but I think Neon Chrome is the best one yet. This comes from the developers of the fantastic Crimsonland, and it takes the twin-stick shooter genre to a new place with randomly generated levels, amazing replayability, and deep customization.

Neon Chrome

Ryan Whitwam

Neon Chrome

Your goal in Neon Chrome is to fight your way through 20-something levels to take out the Overseer. This is a tough game, so expect to die a lot at first. Each time you die, it’s game over. However, you can use the credits earned to improve your character for the next run. The game doesn’t get stale, either. All the levels are randomly generated, and various character classes and perks encourage you to try different approaches to victory.

Neon Chrome has a rad cyberpunk style with lots of neon colors (duh), lighting effects, and cool character design. It’s an expensive game at $10, but it’s so worth the price.

Adobe Scan (Free)

You don’t need a scanner anymore, you have a phone. Well, you need an app to make your camera act like a scanner, too. There are several good apps that do that, but the new Adobe Scan might be the best one yet. To scan a document, just set it down and point your camera at it. Adobe Scan automatically finds the edges and captures the image.

Adobe Scan

Ryan Whitwam

Adobe Scan

You can add as many pages as you want to a document, and the app is very good about flattening, sharpening, and transforming the images into something vaguely page-shaped. You can manually re-adjust the crop if you want, but Adobe Scan is extremely good at doing it all automatically.

The documents you create with Adobe Scan can be instantly exported as a PDF, or you can upload them to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The app also runs text recognition on the documents you scan, making them searchable via the Acrobat app. Not bad for a free app.

Spaceplan ($2.99)

Clicker games are usually good for a few minutes of mindless fun, but Spaceplan manages to make a clicker game fun by dressing it up in a sci-fi package and tossing in some excellent writing. So what is the strange animal? As the description says, it’s  “based partly on a total misunderstanding of Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.”

Spaceplan

Ryan Whitwam

Spaceplan

Spaceplan follows the exploits of a lone human (you) and the AI of the spaceship you find yourself stranded on. You’re orbiting an odd planet, and the only way to get home is to generate enough power to scan the surface, investigate your surroundings, and maybe travel through time a little. Amusingly, all the power comes from various forms of potatoes and tapping on the “kinetigen.” That’s the clicker aspect.

Spaceplan has simple geometric graphics, but the game feels very well-crafted. The dialog is witty and you’ll actually care about the story, wacky though it may be. This is the perfect game to play for a few minutes while you’re waiting in line someplace. The $2.99 price tag is a real bargain.

Audvel (Free)

Interested in some auditory entertainment? Podcasts are a good, free way to pass the time. The apps for listening to them often cost a few bucks. The new podcast app Audvel is completely free, though.

Audvel

Ryan Whitwam

Audvel

You need to log into Audvel with either your Google account or another email, but it automatically syncs your subscriptions between devices. That’s one of the essential features of a podcast app for me. No one wants to lose all their subscriptions when they switch phones. You can add new subs from the app’s discovery section, or search for your favorites.

You can stream new episodes or download them for offline playback. When listening, Audvel includes built-in support for increasing playback speed. It also compensates for the increase speed by lowering the pitch. It’s not the most full-featured app, but it’s still very new and completely free. There are supposed to be ads in Audvel, but I haven’t see any yet. A future in-app purchase to remove such ads seems likely.

Card Thief (Free, $1.99 upgrade)

As the name implied, Card Thief is a card game. However, it’s also addictive and hugely intense. That’s not usually something you’d say about a card game. In Card Thief, you play the role of a thief on a heist, and the only way to make off with the loot is to knock the other cards off the board until you reach the end of the deck.

Card Thief

Ryan Whitwam

Card Thief

Card Thief comes with a lengthy tutorial, which a good thing as the rules are somewhat esoteric. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to move your thief around the board, taking out guards, disarming traps, and eventually snagging the treasure chest before beating a hasty retreat. You remain alive as long as you have stealth points, but each actions like extinguishing lights and taking out guards use some of them. The key to success is understanding how to move strategically to maximize your stealth points and avoid the light.

Card Thief has a distinctive hand drawn “gothic” art style, and the animations are more elaborate than you’d expect from a card game. For example, the guard cards emote and change based on their alert status. Card Thief is an extremely well-made game, and you can try it free. If you like it, the ads can be removed for $1.99.

 

AbleGamers’ Player Panels could make future games more disability-friendly

 

Nonprofit charity AbleGamers has been helping gamers with disabilities get the technology they need to play since 2004. Now, the organization’s new AbleGamers Player Panels initiative wants to help games become even more accessible—from the inside.

AbleGamers and the University of York created Player Panels to connect gamers with disabilities with developers and researchers who want to tap into their expertise. The idea stemmed from frequent calls from game companies looking for testers with disabilities, and from conversations with Xbox and PlayStation officials about how to advance more accessible gaming, AbleGamers COO Steve Spohn told PCWorld in a Skype interview.

“It’s not just about doing the right thing [for developers], it’s about making sure that as many people as possible can enjoy the game you created and poured your blood, sweat, and tears into,” Spohn says. “In order to do that, they need to be able to test those games [for accessibility]…We’re trying to bring two sides together to make a better gaming environment.”

ablegamers 2

AbleGamers

The only requirements for joining the Player Panels: You need to have some sort of disability, you need to love games, and you need to fill out this form.

AbleGamers then acts as a go-between, connecting developers and researchers with gamers able to assist in accessibility testing and studies. Rather than being a middle-man, Spohn says the charity is more like a security guard, ensuring the process remains “secure, safe, and happy” for everyone involved. AbleGamers doesn’t receive any money from gamers or game developers for Player Panels, though it does vet requests and make sure participants are compensated.

“We won’t let our community be used, and we like to think we’ve cultivated enough trust that they know we won’t let them be used,” Spohn says. But that compensation won’t always be in the form of cash—because it can’t.

ablegamers 4

AbleGamers

“There are some very tricky things we have to navigate,” Spohn says. “Most of the people in our core group of disabled gamers are on Social Security or the U.K. equivalent, and if you take money, that can put your insurance in jeopardy. We’re uniquely qualified to be able to navigate [those concerns].” Gift cards to Best Buy and other popular stores could be one solution when accepting money becomes a concern for Player Panel members, Spohn says, “but you do need to compensate them for their time.”

Spohn wasn’t willing to divulge which companies AbleGamers is working with for Player Panels to avoid potential controversy. (Fanboy wars start over silly things!) But his hope is for the panel process to fully in place by the end of summer or early fall, at which point the charity would start opening up more about the names and needs of companies it’s working with. AbleGamers is already in touch with developers and researchers asking for gamers with specific disabilities, Spohn said.