Landmark Team Shifts Focus to EverQuest Next

It’s been four months since we’ve wondered about the current state of EverQuest Next in our “Games Gone Missing – where are they now?” video feature. Yesterday, the game’s senior producer Terry “Fairan” Michaels gave us the latest update in a Producer’s Letter posted to Landmark‘s official site.

Landmark, a standalone game that lets players create their own buildings with a powerful creation tool, was always designed to test some systems that will be incorporated into EverQuest Next. Michaels said that after taking care of a recent character and claim wipe and issues associated with it, the team is shifting its focus to those features.

“As the team has wrapped up the various pieces related to the wipe and the bugs associated with it, we have been shifting our focus and resources over to work on the highest priority tasks and systems that will be used in EverQuest Next,” Michaels said. “While we do this, we’re working in areas with high amounts of creative risk. This means that while we know what we want to do, we know it will take an unknown amount of iteration, tweaking and sometimes drastic direction changes to get these in game and working the way they need to. Because of this, we simply cannot commit to any dates, because until we get much closer, even our best estimates are educated (but still fairly wild) guesses.”

Michaels guaranteed that Landmark will still get updates, but on a less regular scedule than players have been used to over the past year. He also clarified that though the team is shifting its focus to EverQuest Next, that doesn’t mean the game will be coming out this year.

Development on EverQuest Next and Landmark began under Sony Online Entertainment, but earlier this year the company announced that it was breaking away from Sony to operate as an independent company known as Daybreak Game Company.

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Author: Emanuel Maiberg

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Valve is now shipping its Vive VR headset to select developers

Valve is getting its Vive virtual reality system into the hands of developers. After opening up an application process for developers to determine who should receive one of the free developer kits, Valve has starting shipping out the units, according to a blog post published yesterday. The company says that the “first wave” selected through the program includes “a wide range of developers, from major movie studios [and] triple-A developers, to small indie teams working on their first title.” Other select developers will receive their units through the rest of the summer.

When packages start arriving at developers’ doorsteps, they’ll find the HTC-built Vive headset, as well as two Lighthouse base stations that can track the user’s…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Watch Someone Beat Fallout: New Vegas in 27 Minutes

A player who goes by the handle Rydou has set a new speedrunning record for Fallout: New Vegas, beating the sprawling post-apocalyptic role-playing game in a mere 27 minutes.

Rydou used a few tricks to hit that time that not might be clear just by watching the video below. Rydou skips dialogues at the beginning of the game by quicksaving and quickloading, and the player character isn’t taking much damage because the game is set to the very easy mode.

Rydou also takes advantage of an interesting glitch to get a speed boost.

“When you cripple your leg, you get slower, and then when you heal it, you’re supposed to get your speed back,” Rydou says in the description to video above. “By quickloading just before getting crippled, you can confuse the game into giving you the speed back without actually ever losing it ( because we don’t actually really get crippled). So you get a huge speedboost, and walk at 165% of your walking speed.”

The other big Fallout news this week, of course, is the release of the first Fallout 4 trailer, which you can watch here.

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Author: Emanuel Maiberg

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Watch Bjork's mind-boggling 360-degree music video

Tomorrow is the final day of the Bjork retrospective at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. The installation chronicled more than 20 years of Bjork’s work as a musician and visual artist, including projects related to her most recent album, Vulnicura. One such project was a 360-degree virtual reality music video for the album single “Stonemilker.” Now that video is finally up online, so you can watch it without trekking to the museum and strapping on an Oculus Rift headset.

You have to interact with the video to get the full 360-degree experience. When it opens, Bjork is standing on a rocky shoreline, swaying to the song’s delicate sadness. Then, she moves off screen. You can shift your view to follow Bjork’s movements, or do nothing…

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Author: Lizzie Plaugic

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Elite: Dangerous Powerplay Launch Trailer Invites Players to Conquer the Galaxy

Elite: Dangerous yesterday got a free major update called Powerplay, which add faction gameplay to the space simulator, developer Frontier Developments has announced.

Each faction, or “Power,” is an organization that controls a section of human-occupied space. Each is led by a different figurehead, and comes with a different biography, political leaning, and faction-specific perks. Players can join one of these Powers, guide their strategy and take on special mission to earn valuable perks, reputation bonuses and credits.

Players can take combat-oriented missions or work to expand a Power’s trade monopoly.

Frontier Developments said that the changes to the mission system are so comprehensive that any incomplete missions you have in progress at the time of the update will be removed from your mission list.

You can find out more about the update in the complete patch notes here.

Frontier Developments also released a training video for the Powerplay update, which you can watch below.

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Author: Emanuel Maiberg

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Netflix is coming to Italy, Spain, and Portugal later this year

Netflix is continuing its steady march around the world. Southern Europe will be the next to get a taste of the streaming service, as the company has announced that Italy, Spain, and Portugal will get Netflix this October. They will join Netflix’s list of roughly 50 countries that already receive service, 13 of which are fellow European nations.

If things go according to plan, this is just the beginning for Netflix. The company plans to expand to 200 countries — nearly the entire world — by the end of next year. With that kind of footprint, CEO Reed Hastings imagines Netflix can be a real competitor to Hollywood film distribution. Currently, roughly a third of Netflix’s 62.3 million subscribers reside outside the US.

Pricing…

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Author: Dante D’Orazio

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Amazon Game Studios Hiring for "Ambitious" PC Game

Amazon Game Studio is now hiring top talent for an ambitious new PC game project.

According to the job posting on Gamasutra, the new game will be using the latest technology, and whoever gets the job will work in Seattle with a team whose previous credits include Half Life 2, Left for Dead, Dota 2, Halo, Infamous, Shadows of Mordor and The Last of Us.

“Amazon is committed to gamers, and building great teams who are excited to use Twitch, the AWS cloud, and technical innovation to radically evolve gameplay,” Amazon said. “We believe that games have just scratched the surface in their power to unite players and will produce some of the future’s most influential voices in media and art.”

It’ll be interesting to see how exactly Amazon’s PC game will “use Twitch,” the gameplay streaming platform Amazon acquired last year in a $1 billion deal.

The giant online retailer has been developing free-to-play Facebook games since 2012, but seemed to get more serious in 2014, when it hired Portal developer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory developer Clint Hocking. In 2013, Halo writer Erik Nylund joined Amazon as its director of narrative design.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about the positions Amazon is hiring for here.

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Author: Emanuel Maiberg

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Weekly Recap: Fallout 4, XCOM 2, and Uncharted 4 PS4 Collection Announced

THE BIG STUFF:

Fallout 4 Announced: After so many rumors, Bethesda finally officially announced Fallout 4 this week. And the news will keep on coming, as Bethesda will talk about and show more of the game at E3 next week.

XCOM 2 Announced: 2K this week announced the sequel to its acclaimed turn-based strategy game. It’s launching this November only on PC.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection Announced: This new bundle for PlayStation 4 will launch in October, featuring remastered versions of the first three games. There’s no multiplayer, but it does come with access to the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer beta.

THE OTHER STUFF:

Video game media veterans Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb will host the first-ever Bethesda E3 press conference, the publisher announced this week. Bethesda kicks off E3 this year, holding its event the evening of Sunday, June 14. Expect Fallout 4 news and more.

Oculus VR, the company behind the Rift headset, has an internal VR movie production studio and they announced their next project today–a movie called Harry. It stars a hedgehog who just wants to hug people, but he doesn’t get many takers for obvious reasons. Watch a trailer here:

DomiNations, the new mobile game from the new version of Big Huge Games, is off to a hot start. 60 days after launch, the game has now seen 7.2 million downloads, as players have trained 1.6 billion troops and battled 50 million times.

Open-world Wii U game Xenoblade Chronicles X is huuuge. It takes 31 minutes to run across the entire map, according to a recent playthrough.

Disney already has Disney Infinity, but Playmation sounds potentially even more exciting. It morphs real toys with video games and more. Read all about it here.

The Kickstarter campaign for We Happy Few, a drug-fueled psychedelic game from Compulsion Games (Contrast), has now gone live. Pledge at least CAD $60 and you’ll receive access to an early build of the game. What’s We Happy Few all about? Here’s the synopsis.

“In We Happy Few, just about everyone but the player is high on a drug called Joy, and they’re not fond of Downers. Avoid attracting too much attention to yourself, and you may find a way to escape the eerie city of Wellington Wells.” For more on We Happy Few, check out the Kickstarter.

The developer of This War of Mine, the intriguing game that showed war from a different perspective, is branching out for its next project. Thanks to the success of This War of Mine, developer 11bit is hoping to make a AAA-style project next. Read all about it here.

Following its release for consoles, Ubisoft’s Tetris Ultimate is now available on PlayStation Vita. You can buy the game today on Sony’s handheld for $30 at physical retailers and $15 through the PlayStation Network as a download. It supports up to two players across nine modes: Battle, Battle Ultimate, Marathon, Endless, Ultra, Sprint, Time’s Up, Landslide, and Haunted.

Curious about the history of potions in video games? This video, from Curse, acts as a nice primer.

The Harvest Moon franchise is expanding to new platforms. Natsume has announced that the next game in the series, Seeds of Memories, will be the first available for Wii U and PC. What’s more, Natsume will release a new, as-yet-untitled Harvest Moon game for iOS and Android, the company announced.

June’s Forza Horizon 2 DLC has been announced and released. The content is called the Duracell Car Pack and it’s out now on Xbox One for $5. It comes with five new cars, while everyone gets a free car. Get all the details here.

World of Warcraft is a hugely popular, enduring, exciting game. But if there’s one critique over the years, it’s been that it doesn’t look so hot. But what if the game were developed in Unreal Engine 4? It might look something like this totally amazing render.

The folks behind the epic video series Man at Arms have published their latest project, and it’s amazing. Their challenge was to build Narsil, Aragorn’s sword from The Lord of the Rings without using modern blacksmith methods. Amazing. Watch the process here.

Big-name game studios Sega and Daybreak (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) have left the Entertainment Software Association. That’s the group that represents the video game industry’s interests in Washington. They also put on E3 every year. Read the full story here.

For the Love of Spock. That’s the name of a new Kickstarter documentary from Leonard Nimoy’s son, Adam. It’s a movie primarily based on Spock, and is hoping to launch next year to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Check out the Kickstarter here.

Oculus has announced the winners of its latest VR Jam. Check out the blog post with all the winners, including the $200,000 grand prize, here.

Mistwalker’s new mobile RPG, Terra Battle, has announced some impressive milestones following the game’s release earlier this year. Check out all of the marks here.

Cristiano Ronaldo will star alongside a troll named Hugo in a new endless runner game due out for mobile devices. This is not a joke. Check out the first footage of the game, which is called Ronaldo & Hugo: Superstar Skaters, here.

Have a great weekend! One more week until E3…

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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