Qt3 Boardgames Podcast: Agents of Mayhem, Palm Island, Fantasy Realms

, | Games podcasts

What if you have to learn wargame rules to play a wacky superhero game? What if you don’t have a table? What if the unicorn gets a princess? Tom Chick, Hassan Lopez, and Mike Pollmann consider these and other hypotheticals.

Agents of Mayhem at 5:06, Palm Island at 36:27, and Fantasy Realms at 45:40. But first, an update on Maniacal, Hassan’s new game, now available from eaglegames.net.

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You can get a better Grid by not owning it

, | News

Grid, (just stylized as “GRID” and not “GRID Reboot” or “GRID 4”) launched on PC and consoles last month from Codemasters. It’s supposedly a “return to roots” for the franchise. It certainly looks like a fine racer that virtual gearheads should like. It’s also coming to Google’s Stadia streaming service, and when it does, the game will have something there you can’t get on any other platform.

The Google Stadia version of Grid will have a 40-car racing mode. According to Codemasters’ Mark Green, this exclusive mode “just isn’t possible” without the tech giant’s streaming technology. Speaking to WCCFTech, Green also says controller lag isn’t an issue – a prediction that many commenters have had for streaming tech.

“I mean racing games are particularly sensitive to controller lag and yet I can’t feel any when playing on Stadia, the experience is fantastic.”

While Grid will not be part of Google Stadia’s launch lineup, it will be available later this year.

Once you’ve slogged through Wolfenstein: Youngblood, go find the new widgets!

, | News

Bethesda Softworks has launched a major update for Wolfenstein: Youngblood. The 1.0.7 update adds new endgame content sure to please the teen twin Nazi-stompers.

Once you’ve finished the main campaign, the new “Da’at Yichud Artifacts” mission will open up to give players a treasure-hunt going back through Nazi-occupied Paris. Twenty treasure maps will lead hunters on a backtrack journey for bits and bobs that give finders money, XP, and ability points. You’ll need those new points, because the update adds a new ability for each character tree. If you need new ways to high-five or flip the bird to your cooperative or A.I. sister, there’s new pep signals, too!

We Happy Few falls down in its final expansion

, | News

We All Fall Down, the last bit of announced DLC for We Happy Few, will launch on November 19th. In this story expansion, players will take on the role of Victoria Byng, last seen in the main campaign as a side character. This DLC slims the game down to stealthily avoiding guards by swinging over environments and striking from the shadows. It also cuts out the survival mechanics to concentrate on action and story. Come see the last gasp of Wellington Wells.

Get banned from Red Dead Online, and you might make some money

, | News

Rockstar is offering a $10,000 bounty to anyone that can prove they were banned from Red Dead Redemption 2’s online mode in error. The catch is that you have to prove to Rockstar that the ban came as a result of a “false positive” and you were innocent of whatever charge caused your ban. Go here to register for the studio’s bounty program, and get to it. Just don’t cry if your ban sticks and you get nothing.

A warning for cowpokes looking for an easy payday: Rockstar has been offering a similar bounty for years in Grand Theft Auto Online, and they haven’t paid out yet. Plenty of other hacks have been reported, and the participants have gotten relatively small ($100 to $1,000) rewards for helping out, but the ban jackpot remains safe.

If you want to feel sad about Mass Effect, check out what’s new in Anthem

, | News

November 7th, remembered as “N7 Day” for the Mass Effect franchise, hasn’t really been a thing since Mass Effect Andromeda crashed and burned in 2017. This year, Electronic Arts and BioWare are celebrating N7 Day by offering cosmetic goodies for sale in Anthem. For about $8 each, you can get skins for your Javelin suit that look like better characters from the other game.

There are Asari Storm, Quarian Interceptor, Turian Ranger, and Krogan Colossus skins for sale that correspond to the different Javelin types. You can also buy an emote that mimics the “Shepard Shuffle” dance. I’m Commander Shepard and this is my favorite store in the game!

Din’s Legacy is also Depth of Peril’s lonely legacy

, | Game reviews

Red Faction: Guerilla not only introduced the idea of a fully destructible world, but it remains the only example of it 10 years later.  It could have been a revolution. But fully destructible worlds are hard to do. Level designers also have to be architects, because understanding how a building collapses also requires understanding how it’s built.  The ingame physics require elaborate rules for destruction. Weight distribution, stress, intricate collision detection, gravity, kinetic energy, all interacting to do something that would be much easier to script with a set of canned animations.  It’s much easier to fake it. The rules for chaos are many and complex. That’s why it’s called chaos. So videogame developers carried on, pretending like Red Faction: Guerilla never happened. Denial isn’t just a river in Egypt. It’s also a perfectly viable approach to game design.

There is no such excuse for why more games don’t copy Depths of Peril, an action RPG with a dynamic world instead of a field that grows loot and monsters to be harvested and grown all over again.  Depths of Peril was a revolutionary action RPG in which the world changes as much as the hero. 12 years later and there’s only one guy copying this idea. And he’s the same guy who made Depths of Peril.  It’s a failure of videogame development that Soldak Entertainment’s Steven Peeler doesn’t have any competition.  

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World of Warcraft’s world finally includes other people

, | News

Buried in the avalanche of BlizzCon announcements like Diablo IV, a tepid non-apology, and Overwatch 2, Blizzard unveiled another expansion for World of Warcraft. But wait! World of Warcraft: Shadowlands doesn’t just revamp the game’s whole leveling system and present some new lore. It also add a dash of sorely needed color to the game. As in people of.

It may have taken 15 years to get here, but Shadowlands will feature more diverse options in the human side of the character creator. Up until now, the options for humans included Caucasian faces and tanned Caucasian faces. You couldn’t really make a human avatar that reflected many of the world’s diverse racial characteristics outside of different colored hair, and a slightly browner skin tone. Shadowlands changes that. When asked by Eurogamer why it took so long to offer these options, Blizzard said they wanted “to get it right” and not just slap black skin onto Caucasian faces. Fair enough, but 15 years? Hey, we’ll get more options for trolls and orcs, too!

Borderlands 3 makes the exact wrong choices

, | Game reviews

I just got a new car and, let me tell you, it is something else.  It feels remarkable. The steering wheel under my fingertips, the responsive grip of the tires on the road, the graceful suspension, the throaty purr of the engine.  And the interior! Plush seats that feel like they were made to fit me, fancy leather, lots of cool lights on the dashboard. It’s a dream to drive this thing, to sit in it, to take it across town, to admire it.  

Well, it would be if it weren’t for a couple of features.  

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Qt3 Boardgames Podcast: Space Base, Paper Tales, Arkham Noir

, | Games podcasts

Why are games called what they’re called instead of games that should have been called that? Why isn’t Space Base called Among the Stars, why isn’t Paper Tales called Vorpal, and why isn’t Arkham Noir called Arkham Horror?

Space Base at :51, Paper Tales at 16:04, and Arkham Noir at 34:20.

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