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Now Available on Steam – Nostos

Nostos is Now Available on Steam!

Nostos is a cross-platform multiplayer game for PC & VR in an open world setting, where Oriental animation elements are found. You can explore with friends, discover historical sites and remains of war, build shelters and fight, uncovering the truth hidden by time and tasting the past stories of hope or regret.

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Adobe Acquire Oculus Medium

Adobe announced today that they have acquired Oculus Medium, a VR based content creation tool developed at Facebook’s Oculus division.

Details from the Adobe announcement:

Today, I am thrilled to welcome the amazing Medium team to the Adobe family. Born as an innovative VR authoring tool at Facebook’s Oculus division, the Medium team and technology are an exciting addition to Adobe as we aim to meaningfully accelerate our 3D and immersive efforts.

Medium has been a beacon of creativity in the VR space, pushing creative and technical boundaries of 3D modeling. The creative tool enables users to sculpt, model and paint in an immersive environment – to easily create characters, objects, environments, expressive works of art and more. The integration of Medium’s tools and technology will greatly contribute to our 3D and immersive strategy.

Medium also have a blog post about the acquisition, with details of how existing customers will be impacted:

To our passionate Medium users, nothing is changing for you today. And the app is currently still free when you activate your new Oculus Touch controllers on the Oculus Store. Stay tuned for more features, improvements, and other developments coming from Adobe in 2020 as Medium continues to evolve.

If you wish to learn more about the acquisition, be sure to check out the video below.

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The Weekender: Conqueror Edition

It’s been a very meaty week for new releases and updates, and I’d like to think the content this week has been pretty diverse too. We gave one last look at our 2019 mobile guide before the year ends, whilst also writing up some interesting news bits as well as dropping a new guide.

Next week we should have a few more reviews and features for you as well.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away…

New iPhone & Android Releases

Queen’s Wish: The Conqueror (iOS)

The studio that brought you the Avadon and Avernum RPG series are back with another hardcore, open-ended top-down RPG adventure. This game was successfully kickstarted to celebrate the studio’s 25 year run as a developer. We haven’t had a chance to test it out yet, but we know the developer’s games in general are thought well of, so we figured it was worth highlighting. We’ll try and get someone on the review for this as soon as we can.

In Queen’s Wish you play the exiled daughter of a Queen who banishes you to the furthest reaches of the empire to test your worth. Haven is a back-water, surrounded by unruly vassals, and it’s your drop to bring them all to heel. It boats 50+ hours of gameplay with an open-ended story and tactical combat.

Eve Echoes CBT (iOS & Android)

CCP Games has finally released a mobile version of EVE Online in the form of EVE Echoes (developed by NetEase). Previously we had our eyes on something called EVE: War of Ascension but that project looks to have disappeared. Echoes looks like a more literal translation of the game onto mobile devices in terms of features, functionality and presentation. The Open Beta Test launched on iOS via Testflight and on Android via Google Play at the start of the week – we’ve got a tips guide for anyone who’s looking to get started.

I’d tell you what I think of it, but I can’t actually play the game due to some weird Android bug that seems to be connected to the Play Game services. I get stuck on a loading screen. If that ever gets fixed I’ll relay some top-line impressions. Fun Fact: I was infamous EVE Online guild GoonSwarm for about a year back when I attempted to play the game seriously.

Space Grunts 2 (iOS Universal)

As we mentioned earlier in the week, Space Grunts 2 is finally out on iOS to coincide with the PC version’s release from Early Access. We’ve got Jarrett on the review, and you can read more in our news report.

We’ve spoken to Orangepixel, and an Android version is provisionally due sometime in January.

Terraforming Mars (iOS and Android)

Honestly was a bit worried that this one wasn’t going to turn up, but Asmodee Digital have finally released their digital port of this hit board game onto Mobile. To recap – the development team working on this did release a mobile beta earlier in the year, but then they went bust. This project could have easily been cancelled so I’m glad it still saw the light of day.

Worth noting however that early impressions are a little mixed – some find the presentation divisive, and there are reports of issues with online multiplayer functionality. We’ve got Matt on the case, so will bring you more information as soon as we can in a full review.

Other recent Asmodee Digital board game releases we should highlight, since we’re here:

Updates & News

DicTater Kickstarter

So the pitch for this is a ‘4X Strategy Game except you are a Potato’. I mean… sure?

We don’t normally cover Kickstarter projects due to the inherent risks with the platform, but something that claims to be Civilization-with-Spuds almost demands further investigation. Luckily you don’t have to go by the Kickstarter page alone (which at the time of writing is three-quarters of the way to being fully funded); if you’re on android you can join this google group to test out an alpha version.

Can’t guarantee everyone will be allowed to become a tester, but you can at least talk to the developer to find out more about the game if you’re as interested in this as I am. We hope it gets the funding it needs, and more importantly, we hope it actually gets finished!

Roll for the Galaxy Beta (iOS & Android)

Temple Gates Games have announced they’re launching a beta for their digital adaptation of Roll for the Galaxy. You can go here to sign up, and it’s available on both Android and iOS.

Plague Inc

Plague Inc. just got a free new scenario which deals with ‘Fake News’. Instead of being a virus, you’re a fictional news story that you’re trying to get into the hearts of minds of everyone on the planet. Instead of upgrading your viral traits or upping your kill rate, you’re deploying psychological tricks and modern technology to make sure your ‘news’ is believed by everyone. This was created in conjunction with FullFact.org.

Sales

I mean after the veritable feast that was Black Friday, the sales this week seem weak by comparison. Darkest Dungeon: Tablet Edition is currently $4.99, which is the lowest price since October 2018 when it was $0.99.

This is a weird one, the game seems to have launched at the $4.99 price, and then spent the rest of the time flitting between that and $0.99, with the price only rising to $9.99 in September this year. This seems less of a price reduction and more of a price correction?

Seen anything else you like? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!

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Dota 2 Update – December 6th, 2019

Void Spirit
* Aether Remnant damage reduced from 90/150/210/270 to 80/130/180/230
* Dissimilate damage reduced from 120/200/280/360 to 100/180/260/340
* Resonant Pulse base shield absorption reduced from 50/100/150/200 to 40/80/120/160
* Resonant Pulse damage reduced from 70/130/190/250 to 70/120/170/220

Snapfire
* Firesnap Cookie now works on rooted targets

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Eve Echoes – Open Beta Tips & Advice

The highly anticipated EVE Echoes beta is now live on iOS (via TestFlight) and Android (Via Google Play Early Access) devices. Diving into the vast world of EVE Online can be quite confusing, so we’ve compiled a list of EVE Echoes beta tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions that should help you out. 

How to Sign Up for the EVE Echoes Open Beta

The EVE Echoes open beta was announced this October for iOS and Android devices. The beta is currently available to those in Australia, USA, Canada, Russia, Europe, South Korea, and New Zealand. If you pre-registered for the beta, you should have an email in your inbox instructing you how to download the beta.

EVE Echoes OBT Launch

If you didn’t pre-register but would still like to participate, you can download EVE Echoes on iOS and Android right now. If you’re using an iOS device, you’ll need to go to main website to join, as it won’t appear in the app store. If you’re using an Android device, simply search the game in the Play Store. 

What’s New in EVE Echoes?

EVE Echoes is pretty similar to that of EVE Online, but it does offer players a few unique features that they won’t find on the PC game. For starters, there will be new storyline missions that players can complete, as well as a new market platform known as the Interstellar Trading Center.

Further, Drones have also been added into the game. Used by all four races, Drones are capable of mining, logistics, and of course, attacking other players. NetEase announced that not only would Drones be available in EVE Echoes, but they would also be playing a different role than they did in EVE Online

Eve Echoes Mining

If you’re new to the game, you don’t really need to worry about Drones right now. Simply focus on figuring out the mechanics as you complete the new pilot tutorial.

Will Progress from the EVE Echoes Beta Carry Over to Launch?

During our time at EVE Vegas in October, we were able to get some hands on time with Echoes ahead of the beta. During one of our meetings with developers, NetEase confirmed that all data from the beta period will be wiped – meaning it won’t be carried over to the full game.

While this may be disappointing for some, the reasoning behind it is pretty straightforward. In the world of EVE, the market is created solely by players. Due to the vast nature of the game, veteran players will have a major upper hand over new players and would be able to dominate the market if all data wasn’t wiped.

To prevent a giant monopoly from happening, wiping all of the data from the beta will allow for a fair and even playing field when it’s time for the official launch of EVE Echoes

If You’re new to EVE, Pay Attention During the Tutorial

Perhaps one of our biggest complaints about Echoes during our time with it earlier this year was the lack of a tutorial. It’s nice to see that NetEase and CCP Games listened to some of the feedback we offered and were able to add in a detailed tutorial for ‘new pilots.’ 

If you’re new to EVE, or have been away for a long time, we strongly suggest taking a few minutes to work through the tutorial so that you know how everything works. If at any point you need a refresher, you can revisit the tutorial by tapping the “Intelligent Assistant” on the left side of your screen – it’s a glowing yellow circle. 

Eve Echoes beta tutorial

Further, we’d also suggest that long time EVE players take the time to go through the Echoes tutorial, as some controls and AI functions are different that EVE Online.

EVE Echoes | How to Purchase a Ship?

Purchasing your first ship in EVE Echoes can be a little confusing, even for veterans of the franchise. If you’re following along with the new pilot tutorial, you’ll be instructed to go to the market and purchase a ship called Slasher. This part isn’t very hard, but figuring out how to obtain your ship is a totally different story.

While you’re purchasing the Slasher, you’ll be prompted to select a destination location. Unfortunately, after you purchase the ship and select a destination, the tutorial gets bugged and won’t deliver your ship. However, developers have stated that if your purchased the Slasher, it’s in the queue to be delivered, but server overloads are causing deliveries to be delayed. 

Eve Echoes Open Beta Ships

You can avoid waiting for your ship delivery by going to pick it up, but odds are you’re ship is in Jita – a location that Redditors have warned is filled with bugs that could glitch out your save. So, we don’t suggest traveling to Jita to get your ship.

If your ship is in Jita and hasn’t arrived, it seems you’ll just have to wait a bit for your ship to be delivered. Remember, Echoes is still in the beta and bugs are bound to appear. Developers have released announcements in the Echoes Discord channel acknowledging the Jita and Slasher bugs. They are working on fixes, but note it might take a little bit of time.

EVE Echoes | How to Accept and Begin Missions?

Once you’ve completed the tutorial, if you’d like to accept a new mission, simply click on the Encounters tab and navigate to the News section. From there you should see new missions and quests that you’ll be able to complete. 

Eve echoes missions

However, you might not be able to complete all of the missions right away, as some will require you to purchase items from the Interstellar Trading Center, which may be down due to updates or might not currently have what you need in stock. If you find yourself in this situation, just keep checking back and you’ll likely be able to complete the missions as the beta continues to expand.

Hopefully our EVE Echoes tips and tricks guide has offered some helpful advice to questions that you might have early on in the game. If you have a more detailed question or are encountering a bug, consider visiting r/EveEchoes or the official Echoes Discord channel for more help. 

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These are the best Android games of 2019 (According to Google)

By Joe Robinson 04 Dec 2019

Yesterday we highlighted Apple’s 2019 retrospective on what they considered to be the best games of 2019, as well as a look at their ‘Most Downloaded’ charts across free and paid. We were looking on the Play Store last night and spotted that Google have also done their own version, so let’s take a look at what they have to say about the best games on android this year…

Best Android Game 2019

Let’s start with the big one. Perhaps disappointingly, Google have crowned Call of Duty: Mobile as their best game of 2019. Considering we’ve had a lot of games come out this year, I would have thought Google could do better than this, but I do agree that it’s the best mobile shooter to have come out this year. Not that the bar is high there, but to give credit where credit’s due Activision have done a pretty good job porting their flagship shooter to mobile.

call of duty mobile tips

It plays well (even better now we can officially use controllers again) and the micro-transactions aren’t actually as bad as they could be (given this is Activision). If you’re a COD fan, this is actually a pretty good way of getting that fix on the go. Doesn’t necessarily make it game of the year, though.

Best User’s Choice Android Game 2019

Now this is more like it – real people having a say, we’re bound to get something interesting. It’s…Call of Duty: Mobile again. Ok then.

Not going to lie, a bit disappointing, but it could be Google are just looking at downloads. If you look at the nominees for this category, they’re all basically the Usual Suspects of current free-to-play mobile games. Harry Potter Wizards Unite, Mario Kart Tour, AFK Arena… you get the idea.

Harry Potter Wizards Unite Released

There’s a Best Competitive category, but there’s nothing in there worth shouting out about (Brawl Stars is at the top) apart from some random Free-to-Play Tennis game, but only because I wasn’t expecting that to be on such a list.

Best Indie Android Games 2019

This seems to be the category where games we’d be interested in reside, with the top spot going to Chuchel. It’s not one we’ve looked at here but I have heard good things about it on the grapevine so nice to see some recognition.

Other featured games include Stardew Valley, Grimvalor and Tiny Room Stories: Town Mystery.

Grimvalor6

Best Android Casual Game is another category we’ll skip a full break-down. It’s not as bad as you might think, but it does feature games like Mario Kart Tour and Toy Story Drop!, with the top spot going to Fishing Life.

Best Innovative Android Games 2019

This is another potentially interesting category, although we’re not familiar with top most game – a free-to-play rogue-like dungeon crawler called Archero. The other games in this category do show how creative developers have been this year though:

  • AutoChess – which I think is a brilliant format for mobile, so long as a decent ‘short’ version can be created.
  • Minit – Devolver Digital’s innovative puzzle game where your avatar only has 60 seconds to live.

The Elder Scrolls: Blades and Assassin’s Creed Rebellion are also featured, which have some interesting aspects to them as well (although perhaps ‘innovative’ is a bit of a stretch).

There you have it – the best games on Google Play/Android, according to Google. What do you Android readers think about this? What games would you want to highlight? Answers on a postcard!

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Dota 2 Update – December 3rd, 2019

Snapfire
– Lil’ Shredder mana cost increased from 75 to 90
– Lil’ Shredder damage reduced from 45/60/75/90 to 40/55/70/85
– Lil’ Shredder attack speed slow per stack reduced from 20/25/30/35 to 15/20/25/30
– Firesnap Cookie cooldown reduced from 24/22/20/18 to 24/21/18/15
– Firesnap Cookie projectile speed increased from 800 to 1000
– Firesnap Cookie cast point reduced when used on self from 0.4 to 0.3

– fixed Rubick Arcana cape not changing color when stealing spells from Void Spirit or Snapfire

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Cocos2D-x 4.0 Released

Cocos2d-x, the long running cross platform framework for developer 2D games, just released version 4.0 today.  The biggest new feature is Metal support for iOS and MacOS platforms, pretty much a requirement with Apple deprecating support for OpenGL.

Details of the 4.0 release from the Cocos2d-x forums:

  • support metal on iOS/macOS
  • use CMake for all platforms
  • update GLFW to 3.3
  • update minizip to 1.2
  • remove deprecated functions
  • remove h5 engine and JSB
  • remove tiff
  • remove SimpleAudioEngine
  • remove experimental namespace
  • fix bug that system font can not work correctly on macOS 15
  • fix lua crash on 64-bit devices
  • fix bugs for iOS 13
    • UIWebView uses WKWebView instead
    • VideoPlayer uses AVPlayerController instead

Cocos2d-x 4.0 is currently only available for download using the link above, as the main site has not yet been updated.  The above link also contains some documentation on migrating your project to 4.0.

If you are interested in learning more about Cocos2d-x be sure to check out our tutorial series available here.  Cocos2d-x is a completely open source project hosted on GitHub.  To learn more about the 4.0 release and Cocos2d-x in general, be sure to check out the video below.

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