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Until Dawn: Modern horror Caged on PlayStation 4



Teens go into cabin. Cabin is in the woods. Slashers are in the cabin. Seems simple, no? Until Dawn, Supermassive Games' exclusive new horror game for the PlayStation 4, is a little unclear with its intentions, though. Are the slashers within its cabin original freaks that are more than they appear to be or just impressions of the classics?

Dawn doesn't just borrow the scenery from myriad horror flicks like Evil Dead and Cabin Fever. It wears its influences and references so brazenly on its sleeve that you'd almost expect to be a post-modern genre riff a la Joss Whedon's Cabin in the Woods. The 20 minute demo Sony brought to New York this month just wasn't enough to determine what it's driving at one way or another, but Until Dawn certainly trades in some extreme situations. Whether those situations will actually be scary depends first on how the game plays out in full, and second on whether Supermassive clears up some troublesome bugs.

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WildStar reveals big lore drops on the Aurin and the Mechari

Boy, this information could have been really useful back when the game launched, but...
It's time to learn everything about the WildStar races that you were afraid to ask. Or, more likely, that you did ask. There's a lot of lore in the game, but it's possible to miss some pieces of important information, and players always have lore questions no matter what happens. So the team at Carbine Studios asked for player questions, and creative director Chad Moore has posted the first set of answers in the form of pages for the Aurin and the Mechari.

Both pages contain an overview of the racial histories, culture, social structures, relations with other races, lifespans... everything you could want to know at a glance regarding the operations of these species. Veteran players will find some elements of this unsurprising, but there's more to learn and some longstanding theories confirmed (like the functional immortality of the Mechari or the Aurin preference for analogies). Take a look at both pages for more information.

PSA: Do not send death threats to digital distribution platform holders

Paranautical Activity is on Kickstarter now
The general public service announcement here is to not send death threats, like, in general, but here's an incident of a developer posting a death threat on Twitter against Valve's Gabe Newell, who runs a little digital distribution shop called Steam.

Polygon has the gritty details, but the shorter version is developer Mike Maulbeck, creator of Paranautical Activity, was having a bad day yesterday with his Steam page. He's also had reported issues with the platform in the past. The latest problem was the Steam page was improperly noting the status of the game and, following a series of escalating tweets, he concluded saying: "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die."

That, don't do that.

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Demon's Crest, Gargoyle's Quest 2 invade eShop on October 30

Capcom will resurrect a pair of demonic platformers from its back catalog next week with the launch of Demon's Crest and Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the Nintendo eShop.

Both games star Ghosts 'n Goblins series antagonist Firebrand, and both feature side-scrolling action bolstered by action-RPG elements. Firebrand navigates an RPG-like overworld in between difficult platforming sequences in 1992's Gargoyle's Quest 2 for the NES, while the 1994 SNES series finale Demon's Crest takes a more open-ended approach, challenging players to return to previously-explored levels as they uncover hidden items and pursue multiple endings.

Capcom's upcoming eShop re-releases will premiere at a significant discount compared to their current aftermarket prices. Cartridge-only copies of Demon's Crest are hovering around $100 on eBay these days, and Gargoyle's Quest 2 is approaching $70. 3DS and Wii U owners get Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $4.99 next week, and Demon's Crest will hit the Wii U eShop exclusively for $7.99.

(For the record, I sold my cartridge of Gargoyle's Quest 2 for $10 and complete-in-box (sob) copy of Demon's Crest for around $20 years ago. I regret my mistakes.)

[Image: Capcom / VG Museum]

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 covers Metal Gear Solid, Spelunky, and more


The second season of Boss Fight Books will feature in-depth analyses of Metal Gear Solid, Baldur's Gate 2, and other landmark games, independent publisher Gabe Durham announced this week.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 is a collection of six books that each exhaustively cover a single game, with developer interviews and other supplementary material accompanying author insight. Announced works include Spelunky by designer Derek Yu, Baldur's Gate 2 by author Matt Bell, Bible Adventures by Gabe Durham, World of Warcraft by Daniel Lisi, and Metal Gear Solid by Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'? creators Ashly and Anthony Burch. The subject of a sixth book will be picked from nominations suggested by Kickstarter backers.

Originally pitched as "the 33 1/3 of video games," Boss Fight Books launched last year with a series of six volumes covering Galaga, Jagged Alliance 2, and other titles at length. Actor Ken Baumann penned the first entry in the series, offering a personal look at Nintendo's widely praised SNES RPG Earthbound.

Boss Fight Books: Season 2 has already surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal. Books will begin shipping out to backers in May, 2015.

[Image: Boss FIght Books]

Doctor Who game starring Capaldi teaches kids to code

The Doctor and the Dalek is a web-based game intended to teach kids age 6 to 12 how to code, starring a friendly Dalek and The Doctor as portrayed by Peter Capaldi. Capaldi lends his voice to the game and it's written by series writer Phil Ford.

The Doctor and the Dalek is part of the BBC's Make it Digital initiative, which aims to inspire youngsters to get creative with coding and digital technology. For those in the UK, the game will be available for free at bbc.co.uk/cbbc beginning Wednesday, October 22. See a video of the game in action at the BBC.
[Image: BBC]

Space Engineers assemble a million sales

Space Engineers touches down on Steam Early Access
A million people have picked up their Space Engineers license, according to developer Keen Software House. The game celebrates the sales milestone in conjunction with its one year anniversary of availability on Steam Early Access, where it still resides.

"Looking to the future, Space Engineers will remain in development for a while longer," Keen Software noted today. "Focusing on adding new features and bug fixing and also continue taking feedback and suggestions from the community who is helping to further improve and expand the game."

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UK considers quadrupling prison terms for Internet trolls

In an effort to "take a stand against a baying cyber-mob," lawmakers in the UK will soon debate an amendment that could quadruple prison terms for Internet trolls, from the current six months to a maximum of two years.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Justice Secretary Chris Grayling told the Daily Mail. "No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence." Grayling's comments come in direct response to the recent online harassment of television presenter Chloe Madeley, who was subjected to rape threats after her mother appeared on the ITV network talk show Loose Women to discuss soccer star and convicted rapist Ched Evans.

"As the terrible case of Chloe Madeley showed last week, people are being abused online in the most crude and degrading fashion," Grayling added. "This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: If you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

Unfortunately, online harassment is a global epidemic. Recent harassment campaigns against Anita Sarkeesian have also included both rape and death threats, and in one instance forced the outspoken critic to cancel a major public appearance.
[Image: Wikimedia]

Far Cry 4 season pass offers yetis, drugs and prison breaks

For those who want to spend a bit more time in Kyrat than Far Cry 4 offers on its own comes the $30 season pass, which offers a handful of new missions and an additional player vs player gameplay mode.

At launch, those who've purchased the season pass will receive exclusive access to The Syringe, a mission in which players must keep a potent drug from falling into the hands of warlord Pagan Min. Escape From Durgesh Prison, as its name suggests, sees players attempting to escape from one of Min's prisons, either solo or with a friend playing as series mainstay Hurk. Speaking of Hurk, the lovable explosives expert brings with him an five additional missions that introduce a number of new weapons, including a harpoon gun.

On the more supernatural side of things, we have Valley of the Yetis, a mission that drops our hero onto a frozen mountaintop populated both by a mysterious cult and the mysterious, hairy creatures of its title. The Overrun multiplayer game type likewise dips into the arcane as players assume the role of either Rakshasa or a member of the Golden Path in a battle to wrest control of map locations from your opponents.

Unfortunately lacking from Ubisoft's announcement is word on when these downloadable additions will become available to season pass holders. The Syringe is slated to debut alongside Far Cry 4 on November 18, but otherwise Ubisoft has yet to reveal when the $30 season pass will pay off.
[Image: Ubisoft]

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What happened to all of the women coders in 1984

In 1984, women stopped pursuing Computer Science majors at American universities. From 1970 onward, women had composed an increasing percentage of Computer Science majors, but something happened in 1984 and that number began to drastically fall, an occurrence at odds with other tech fields. This trend has continued into the 2000s, and today women make up roughly 20 percent of Computer Science majors, as opposed to the 1984 high of about 37 percent.

NPR's Planet Money team of Caitlin Kenney and Steve Henn dove into the data to uncover what went down in the mid-80s to drive women out of the field.

"There was no grand conspiracy in computer science that we uncovered," Henn said. "No big decision by computer science programs to put a quota on women. There was no sign on a door that said, 'Girls, keep out.' But something strange was going on in this field."

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Galactic Civilization 3 gets diplomatic in Beta 2

Developer Stardock has announced the launch of Galactic Civilizations 3 beta two, a pre-release test that adds diplomacy options to the upcoming 4X strategy game.

The full scope of diplomatic options in Galactic Civilizations 3 is currently unknown, but Stardock offers a handful of images detailing the game's new features. Players will now be able to set up treaties with computer-controlled characters, and can officially declare war without having to gun down nearby enemy units. Additionally, the beta expands the game's trading options, adds the new Krynn faction and implements four new victory conditions.

A full list of the beta's additions is too lengthy to appear here, so visit the game's forums for a full rundown. If you're hoping to join the beta test, you can do so at the Galactic Civilizations 3 website, though be aware that early entry requires a $45 pre-order of the final game.
[Image: Stardock]

Minecraft's 'Titan City' took two years, 4.5 million blocks to build

Image What you see here is a labor of love -- emphasis on labor. 19-year-old Delaware student Duncan Parcells spent two years hand-building "Titan City" in the Xbox 360 version of Minecraft, releasing finished versions this week for Microsoft's console and for PC platforms. Titan City's furnished... Continue Reading

343: Halo Collection's launch patch negates a second disc

Following outrage at a 20GB day-one update planned for the upcoming Halo: The Master Chief Collection, head of Halo franchise development Frank O'Connor took to NeoGAF to defend the design decision.

According to O'Connor, that 20GB of data is not a fix for in-game issues, but is instead game content that would have otherwise required that the game ship on multiple Blu-ray discs. "The game is designed to run as a single, unified product, digital is seamless obviously, but we also wanted disc users to have the same experience, without swapping discs," O'Connor told one irate fan. He then added that a title update (read: patch) would be included in the 20GB update, but that it is a "tiny fraction" of the total download. "We realize that this isn't ideal for everyone, but it's the path to the smoothest eventual experience."

While we won't know for sure what's included in the update until it arrives, O'Connor's claim that the game was simply too large to fit on one disc has merit. As we've explained, Halo: The Master Chief Collection includes remastered versions of the first four Halo games, as well as over 100 multiplayer maps.

Joystiq Deals: Android phone giveaway

This edition of Joystiq Deals wants to hook you up with a gratis Android phone, yours to choose from a selection of five high-end Android devices.

Entering the drawing is simple: Pay a visit to the Joystiq Deals website, enter your email address and click the giant "Enter Now" button. If you'd like to make the odds just a bit more in your favor, you can spread the word about the contest on your favorite social networking outlet. Each time an online acquaintance signs up for the drawing using your referral link, you'll automatically earn another entry.

You have two months to submit those entries before the drawing will be held, at which point one lucky winner will walk away with a choice of one of five Android phones. Available models include the Galaxy Note 4, the Moto X, the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Note Edge and the LG G3. For full details, see the Joystiq Deals website.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

A Golden Wake review: The City Beautiful

PC, Mac, Linux

Unlike other tales, Grundislav Games' A Golden Wake is a piece of historical fiction, dipping its toe into a deceptively hopeful economic period following the first World War. Being that the game is deeply-rooted in American history, players also have the luxury of knowing the gist of how the story ends; the market crashes, hurricanes hit the coast and the Great Depression sets in. Even with that knowledge on hand, A Golden Wake remains a delightful trip through the best and worst of times for its cast.

The point-and-click adventure game skips through the era and its protagonist becomes a sympathetic symbol for a rough economic time. It stars Alfie Banks, a smooth-talking New York real estate agent that travels to Florida to cash in on the 1920s land boom. Banks is one fictional character in a very real setting, but A Golden Wake is as much about the Roaring Twenties as it is about the man that's looking to make a name for himself in the business world.

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Super Joystiq Podcast 117: The Evil Within, Far Cry 4, Bayonetta 2

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