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News

Amazon's game engine can legally be used against zombies

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Amazon's game engine can legally be used against zombies

Amazon's new Lumberyard game engine is not just for developing console and PC games; according to its terms of service, it's good in an emergency as well.

Nestled in between "Data Collection" and "Termination" is clause 57.10, which refers to "Acceptable Use; Safety-Critical Systems."

The clause states that the game engine is "not intended for use with life-critical or safety-critical systems," like medical equipment, air or spacecraft, nuclear facilities, or live combat.

However, the agreement goes on to say that the clause is void in the case of "a widespread viral infection transmitted via bites or contact with bodily fluids that causes human corpses to reanimate and seek to consume living human flesh, blood, brain or nerve tissue and is likely to result in the fall of organized civilization."

While we hope humanity never has to find out, it's comforting to know that Lumberjack is legally allowed – even if only in the event of a zombie epidemic – to handle the launch codes.

News

Firaxis reveals how many XCOM 2 soldiers have died

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Firaxis reveals how many XCOM 2 soldiers have died

XCOM 2's permadeath mechanics are brutal – and thanks to stats released by Firaxis, it's now evident just how brutal.

According to the stat dump, 4.3 million XCOM soldiers had died as of the time of this article's publication.

Curiously, only 23% of those came at the hands of enemies, with 67% dying due to "collateral damage," 2% from friendly fire, and a sad 8% left behind on the battlefield.

News

Hitman dev says more AAA games will go episodic

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Hitman dev says more AAA games will go episodic

Players can expect more AAA-grade developers to start shipping games episodically, says Io Interactive head Hans Seifert.

Describing the studio's upcoming Hitman to Ars Technica as a "platform," rather than a game, Seifert said that many people had asked why the studio won't simply wait and release the full game later.

Seifert responded to such questions with the statement that "we are shipping the game at the end of the season. So, if you're a traditional player, you can buy it on a disc at the end of 2016, if that's what you want. "

News

Valve going before Aussie consumer court next month

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Valve going before Aussie consumer court next month

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's lawsuit against Valve Software will go before a court this March.

According to the suit, filed in August 2014, Valve made "false or misleading representations to Australian customers," particularly surrounding its lack of refund policy.

The ACCC has demanded that Valve provide an email address, 1800 number, and PO Box to which customers can direct refund enquiries, as well as appoint contact officers for the same purpose.

News

Sonic the Hedgehog rolls into cinemas in 2018

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Sonic the Hedgehog rolls into cinemas in 2018

Sega boss Hajime Satomi says a movie based on Sonic the Hedgehog will hit cinemas in 2018.

The film is said to be a live-action/animation hybrid, though it's unclear whether it will merely feature a CGI Sonic or go into full Who Framed Roger Rabbit territory.

It is also unclear whether this is the same Sonic adaptation announced in 2014 under Fast & Furious Neal Moritz.

News

Piracy group 3DM suspends cracking single-player games

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Piracy group 3DM suspends cracking single-player games

Prominent Chinese piracy group 3DM is taking a year off cracking games to examine its impact on sales.

Quoted in a Torrent Freak report, the group's leader, known as Bird Sister, said that "starting at the Chinese New Year, 3DM will not crack any single-player games," and implied that such cracks would not be allowed on 3DM's forums.

"We'll take a look at the situation in a year's time to see if genuine sales have grown," she added.

News

Dragon Age writer joins Beamdog as creative director

Dragon Age writer joins Beamdog as creative director

Dragon Age writer David Gaider has left BioWare after 17 years to join the much smaller studio Beamdog.

Gaider said he was "thrilled" to join the company, although joking his new job is "25% paperwork, 25% documentation, 150% confusion."

Beamdog CEO Trent Oster said the position the company originally advertised, that of senior writer, was insufficient for someone of Gaider's experience.

News

Overwatch character progression is cosmetic only

Overwatch character progression is cosmetic only

With Overwatch's closed beta relaunching today, Blizzard has revealed details of the online "hero shooter's" character progression system.

Levelling will work on a per-player basis rather than per-hero, with each level unlocking a Loot Box containing randomised items.

Loot boxes will only include cosmetic items, like skins, emotes, icons, and poses; Blizzard assures players "they won't provide any additional player power."

News

Amazon delivers new, free game engine Lumberyard

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Amazon delivers new, free game engine Lumberyard

Amazon today announced its own free video game engine – and released it in the same day.

Dubbed Lumberyard, the engine is based on a fork of CryTek's CryEngine that will be developed independently from this point onwards.

It can be used to make AAA-grade games for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, with mobile support incoming.

Thursday 11 February

The Guest – teaser trailer
Trailer
The Guest – teaser trailer
New indie puzzle-room thriller.
Sorcery! review
Review
Sorcery! is old-school adventure gaming for the 21st century
The exclamation mark is silent.
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Screencheat – PS4 trailer
Trailer
Screencheat – PS4 trailer
Aussie-made multiplayer fun.
Layers of Fear – gameplay trailer
Trailer
Layers of Fear – gameplay trailer
Eep.
Valve going before Aussie consumer court next month
News
Valve going before Aussie consumer court next month
Unforeseen consequences.
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Wednesday 10 February

Tom Clancy's The Division – enemy factions trailer
Trailer
Tom Clancy's The Division – enemy factions trailer
All about the baddies.
Far Cry Primal – 101 trailer
Trailer
Far Cry Primal – 101 trailer
There's peeing in this one.
Endciv – Greenlight trailer
Trailer
Endciv – Greenlight trailer
Post-apocalyptic city (re)building.
2
Assassin's Creed Chronicles – launch trailer
Trailer
Assassin's Creed Chronicles – launch trailer
3 assassins, 3 countries, 2.5 dimensions.
Kôna: Day One – official trailer
Trailer
Kôna: Day One – official trailer
Awful chilly out here.
1
Kartkraft – early access trailer
Trailer
Kartkraft – early access trailer
Photorealistic karting.