The German Entertainment Software Self Regulation Body voted to end a blanket ban on swastikas and other Nazi imagery in Wolfenstein, allowing case-by-case decisions similar to rules for movies and other cultural works. Read the rest
Before Fallout 76 was a twinkle in Bethesda's eye, there were rumors of another Fallout MMO being whispered by gamers. Interplay, the company responsible for the now classic titles, Fallout and Fallout 2, had plans for a title called Project V13 – an installment in the Fallout franchise that would allow players to work together, online, to solve puzzles, finish quests and overcome overwhelming odds in the game’s post-apocalyptic universe. Other than some concept art (which later was used by modders to create some fabulous weapons and armor for Fallout 4), Project V13 never saw the light of day.
For a brief, shining moment (37 seconds, to be exact) there was hope. Project 13 was teased as Fallout Online. They even made a trailer announcing a beta for it.
From The Verge:
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O’Green tells The Verge that the already post-apocalyptic Fallout Online was going to start with another apocalypse. By the time Interplay started serious development, it had settled on an American West Coast setting that would span parts of Oregon, California, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada, close to where Fallout and Fallout 2 took place. But around the beginning of Fallout Online, something would trigger an almost comically long series of disasters — potentially including asteroids, volcanoes, nukes, tsunamis, and a resurgence of the series’s powerful Forced Evolutionary Virus. “It wasn’t going to be completely torn down, but we were going to tear it up again a little bit,” says O’Green.
The idea behind the apocalypses was partly to create a world that was still believably chaotic after 200 years and partly to set up new storylines, some of which pushed the series’ science fictional limits.
I often live in places where the only internet connectivity I have comes from tethering to my smartphone (just like I'm doing right now). So, online multiplayer games don't hold a whole lotta joy for me. Thank God that among the announcement for Fallout 76, and the fact that Fortnite is coming to the Nintendo Switch and other broadband gaming delights, CD Projekt Red finally gave us a proper gameplay trailer for their upcoming near future RPG opus Cyberpunk 2077. It's single player, RPG and played in the first-person: everything that I need to keep me happy. If the game plays anywhere as well as Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, I will be a very happy lad. Read the rest
It's still a few months down the road but, if you're an Android user, like I am more and more, these days, there's reason for celebration: Fortnite is finally coming to the platform.
Fortnight has been at the top of the hot game dog pile in the iOS App Store for some time now. And no wonder: it's accessible, fun, looks great and, at least on more recent iPhone handsets, plays like a dream. According to TechCrunch, prior to bringing the game to iOS, Epic Games was making $126 million in revenue off the title. With this being the case, it makes sense that they'd throw all of the resources possible to make Fortnight playable on every single platform on the planet. That Android users would soon be able to crush any hope they have of being productive throughout their day wasn't the only thing that Epic had to say about the game, either.
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That news comes amid a flurry of other Fornite related announcements this week. Earlier this morning, Epic unveiled a Battle Royale competition with a large in-game cash prize. This morning, the company also laid out plans to bring voice chat and improved gameplay and controls to the mobile side of things. Stats are coming to mobile, as well, along with a reduced install size.
While I prefer playing shooters, survival games and other twitchy fare that requires a fine touch with a keyboard, mouse or gamepad (I know you can can use all of that with Android, but it feels gross to haul those around with a smartphone,) Having the option to play a huge title like this on the go, no matter whether I'm rocking an iPhone or my OnePlus handset at the time, is pretty great.
Pour another one out for Sony's PlayStation Vita. Despite being a powerful, capable handheld that's great for a bit of fun on the go or as a companion to your PlayStation 3 or 4 when you're at home, Sony's all but ignored the diminutive gaming console over the past couple of years. In 2015, Sony told gamers that they didn't think it was worth making a successor to the Vita.
Fair enough: mobile gaming is Nintendo's jelly. It still hurt to hear, though: I've always had a soft spot for Sony's portable systems (I may well be one of the few people that actually liked the PSP Go). But the death of the Vita didn't feel real to me until today. According to Kotaku, the production of PlayStation Vita game cards will soon be upon us.
Sony’s American and European branches “plan to end all Vita GameCard production by close of fiscal year 2018,” the company told developers today in a message obtained by Kotaku. The message asks that all Vita product code requests be submitted by June 28, 2018, and that final purchase orders be entered by February 15, 2019. Sony’s 2018 fiscal year will end on March 31, 2019.
As sigh inducing as this news is, it isn't the end of the world. Vita owners will still be able to download games from the online store baked into the PS Vita's OS. If Sony's support for the Vita is anything like it has been for the original PlayStation Portable, the digital titles that gamers bought should be available to download for years to come. Read the rest
I've been a PlayStation guy for a long time now. Read the rest
Last month, I posted the first of what I hope will be a series of Boing Boing articles looking at the latest tabletop miniature, board, card, and roleplaying games, and some of what's going on in tabletop gaming culture. Here is some of what's been holding my attention this month.
Mythic Battles: Pantheon Monolith Games, 1-4 Players, Ages 14+ I was bummed when I thought I wouldn't have an opportunity to plug this game here on Boing Boing. Mythic Battles: Pantheon was a Kickstarter exclusive game in 2016, a campaign in which Monolith/Mythic Games raked in nearly US$2.7 million. I was lucky enough to be one of the backers. The rewards for the base game and stretch goals amounted to two gigantic doorstop boxes filled with some of the most gorgeous, detailed minis, boards, cards, and other components I've ever seen. There are few recent games (see Rising Sun below) that are lovelier than Mythic Battles. A board game/miniatures hybrid, Mythic Battles pits (usually) 2 players and their hosts of Greek gods, titans, monsters, and heroes against each other.
I cannot tell you how much I love this game. Besides the beautiful miniatures and components, which are all highly evocative of the setting, Mythic Battles: Pantheon has some really unique and interesting game mechanics, mostly driven through an activation deck and special "Art of War" cards, which serve as wild cards that allow you to perform a number of special actions. This really is ultimately a deck management game. Read the rest
This $33 Bengoo stereo gaming headset is every bit as nice as my $100+ one.
Gaming and marijuana do not mix. I break headsets and controllers pretty regularly, every few months something gets dropped hard, or yanked off my head by a dog running past and catching the cable (OUCH!!!) I get tired of replacing them.
This Bengoo headset feels every bit as nice as the expensive SkullCandy set it is replacing. The plastic is just as plastic. The ear cups and padding are plenty comfortable. The sound and volume control seems very much the same.
The headset has a very nice cable that annoyingly has permanently affixed stereo and USB jacks. I have used the velcro cable tender that came with to hold the un-used cable end (USB for me) out of the way. The volume and mute controls are super functional and in a good place on the cable.
The mic works well. Adjust the sensitivity if it is not picking up your clear and cogent call-outs.
There is minor price variation based on the color you pick. The unit is labeled "Kotion" who appears to be the manufacturer. I am not sure what a Bengoo is, a Benji is my brother.
I can direction-ally identify footsteps in Fortnite again.
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If you had a Windows PC with a CD drive in the mid-1990s, the percentages are pretty good that you lost countless hours of sleep to playing Myst. Full of difficult but rewarding puzzles and featuring a captivating story with an ending that was dictated by your in-game actions, the game was cutting-edge stuff, back in the day. Myst's popularity led to five sequels to the game. Now, a Kickstarter campaign is making it possible for Windows 10 users to replay or discover all six games in the series for the first time.
According to Tech Crunch, Myst's original development house, Cyan Inc., has bought the rights back to all six of the games in the series and will be re-releasing them to run on Windows 10, to celebrate Myst's 25th anniversary. The games will be released as a set, which can be had as a digital download or as a boxed set of DVDs. The Kickstarter campaign for the games, which has already far surpassed what Cyan needed in order to churn the updated version of the games out, also offers investors the option to own replicas of items used in the original games and hand-drawn pieces of concept art.
While I was more of a Warcraft: Orcs & Humans guy, most of my friends back in the day were nuts for Myst. While a couple of the sequels to the original game have been available to play on Windows 10 for some time now, I can only imagine that the ability to play all six games in the series on a modern PC will be attractive to a ton of gamers, both new and old. Read the rest
Last year, in celebration of International Tabletop Day, the British Museum did several videos of Merlin the Magician, er... Irving Finkel, the Assistant Curator of Ancient Mesopotamian script, talking about and playing The Royal Game of Ur, an over 4-millennium-old game from Mesopotamia.
Finkel has spent the lion's share of his life trying to decipher the history and rules of this ancient, 2-person racing game. The museum had a copy of the board (which Finkel made a replica of as a child), but had no idea which rules set went with it. Fortuitously, among the museum's 3500 clay tablets, Finkel eventually managed to uncover an analysis of the game, written by a Mesopotamian astronomer, and from there was able to reverse engineer the rules (and matched the rules to the mysterious gameboard artifact in the museum's collection).
There are some interesting mechanics here, including using 4-sided dice that have two white tips. An upright white tip counts as a 1. The Royal Game of Ur looks really fun, and surprisingly exciting to play. Finkel points out that it's the kind of game that, when one player falls behind the other, it actually gives them a momentary advantage and that creates a kind of back and forth, quickly changing fortunes dynamic that makes for a tense game. Finkel also points out that the original board had a built-in drawer to house the dice and playing pieces, a design that's still used in chess and other boards over 4,000 years later. Read the rest
There's still plenty of life left in my 2015 MacBook Pro. But sooner or later, I'll ditch my computer in favor something new.
The nerd in me is wicked excited with the notion of using an ultra light laptop with an external graphics processor, for several reasons. I've always wanted to own a gaming laptop, but I could never justify the price, or the weight of one in my bag. Going with a computer that can connect to an external GPU means that I could invest in the laptop first, and then the GPU when I could afford it. And since the GPU for the rig is external, I wouldn't be forced to carry around a heavy bastard of a computer with me every time I needed to take off on assignment. That said, I was hesitant to buy one without seeing how it'd perform, first and foremost, as a work machine. I really like the look of the Razer Blade Stealth: the laptop's industrial design is what Apple might have come up with if their design department had a shred of edge or attitude. So, relying on the privilege of my position as a tech journalist, I asked Razer if I could borrow one.
They said yes.
I spent the past month working on Razer's insanely well-built ultrabook. It was pimped out with 16GB of dual channel RAM, and an Intel Core i7 2.70Ghz processor. It's zippy! But then, that's in comparison to my daily driver: a three year old Core i5 with 8GB of RAM. Read the rest
Back in 2012, we published a feature about Frank Cifaldi, one of the world's leading collectors of rare vintage videogames and related ephemera. Since then, Cifaldi founded the Video Game History Foundation, dedicated to preserving this vibrant art form's history and culture for the ages.