Dark Origins Launching August 16 – gamesread.com

Continue the ongoing saga, with exciting new dungeon and raid content.

The Dark Origins update launches August 16, and continues the game’s ongoing saga, introduces exciting new dungeon and raid content, including the rewards that go along with them.

Learn more on our update overview site.

Act 7: Chapters 12-13 / Aransu School / Ebondrake Lair Dungeon

The epic storyline continues as you join up with Soha to uncover the true identity of the now unmasked Ebondrake leader—the Dark Vicar—who reveals he may know one potential way to awaken the young apprentice you have in-tow. This engaging tale will take you across the Earthen Realm—and throughout time—to learn more of the past, and eventually to the Ebondrake Lair dungeon, where you’ll discover much more than you had originally intended to…

Scion’s Keep Raid

The evil machinations that began with Irontech Forge continue in this new stronghold of the Iron Army. Elite soldiers in augmented suits form rank alongside the newest generation of automatons as the Iron Army’s leader—the Iron Conqueror—makes final preparations for a full-scale invasion of Gunwon City.

Temple of Eluvium Raid

Zulia has sought refuge in the ancient Temple of Eluvium, a site once used by the Aransu clan to study the Spirit Realm. Now, the site is haunted by the spirits of her fallen clan mates and a legion of living statues. As Zulia flees deeper into the Temple, she conjures powerful thralls to defend her and resurrects the tortured spirit of Asura, who is now split into twin entities: one forged from fire, the other from ice.

Class Skill Changes

This update will include a number of class skill adjustments and balance improvements. Stay tuned for the patch notes going up shortly before the update on August 16.

gamesread – Persona 5 Dancing Announcement Imminent- Rumor

gamesread - Persona 5 Dancing Announcement Imminent- Rumor

It looks like alongside a Persona Q2, Atlus may also be getting ready to announce a brand new Persona dancing game, in the vein of Persona 4: Dancing All Night. You see, the Persona-Dance.jp domain, which Atlus had registered previously, has now been moved over to Atlus’ servers, indicating that it is going to see activity soon.

Persona 5 Dancing game, if that is what this indicates, would be fantastic- the game is even more stylish than Persona 4, and has an even better soundtrack than Persona 4, one that lends itself to a rhythm game better. It would be fantastic to see one based on it, then, obviously.

As of right now, it is unclear what system Persona 5 Dancing would release on. Persona 4 Dancing released on PS Vita, but that is obviously no longer an option- so PS4? PS3? 3DS? Switch? Whatever it is, we’re just a day away from finding out potentially, because Atlus is expected to make multiple new announcements on August 2, during the Persona 5 concert.

[Persona Central]

How Viscera Cleanup Detail makes menial work fun – gamesread.com

How Viscera Cleanup Detail makes menial work fun - gamesread.com

This is The Mechanic, where Alex Wiltshire invites developers to discuss the inner workings of their games. This time, Viscera Cleanup Detail [official site].

Viscera Cleanup Detail is a game about cleaning. You’ll wash blood and slime from floors and walls and pick up rubbish, bullet casings and body parts. Your slop will spill, your ichor-covered boots will leave prints over surfaces you’ve worked hard to scrub, and you’ll drop an oozing limb just as you thought you’d made things right.

It’s brutal, menial work, and every feature and level is designed to make it extra fraught with problems. “A main theme is that everything in the world hates you, or is at least indifferent,” developer Nolan Richert tells me. “The noble janitor has a miserable job to do and no one cares or witnesses their struggle. They only complain about the results. It’s inspired by real life, you see.”

Also it’s fun, thanks to a set of tools that do all they can to hinder your attempts to just do your damn job.

THE MECHANIC: Physics bins and buckets and mops

When you get down to it, a lot of games are about cleaning. Tetris, Doom, destroying your enemy’s base in StarCraft. They’re about dealing with complications and tidying them away to restore or instigate order. Viscera Cleanup Detail hinges on that very idea, while also being based on what happens after that attempt to clean up. Arn Richert (RuneStorm comprises three brothers) says the very first concept was, “Why not be the guy who has to clean up after a big old space station mess?”

It all kind of cascaded from there. Physics wasn’t explicitly part of that original idea, but, well, if you’re going to have body parts, crates and trash to pick up, physically simulating them was a natural extension. Nolan started to implement bloodstains and a mop to clean them, and began working out how to allow players to pick up chunks of meat and move them around. And in an organic process of adding things that responded to the core concept and watching how they affected the game, physics kind of started taking over.

“We needed a bucket, because you had to transport something around to clean your mop,” says Arn. “So since you’d have to pick it up, it was simulated. We added water to it, and since it was simulated, we had to make sure it would spill. Bins went similarly. We wanted a container that you could use to place things you picked up and could transport for incineration. So we made an object, simulated it and tried it out. Having an actual bin that could be filled with other physics objects? Brilliant! So what started off as us just ticking boxes turned into a game-wide layer we hadn’t planned.”

From it all emerged a comedy of errors, a meeting of slapstick and industrial cleaning services. Players could now tip their buckets over or pick up a bin and send its contents spilling. Game physics are inherently funny, their mathematical unruliness complementing the out-of-body awkwardness that stems from games’ 2D visuals, lack of sensory input and crude controls.

Physics also opened up strategies for play. Creatively stacking objects could grant access to wider areas of the level, while throwing objects became a quick way of getting them to the incinerator. And physics also added challenge, with various tools requiring great care to be effective, causing even more mess if handled badly.

How Viscera Cleanup Detail makes menial work fun - gamesread.com

It was quite enough to force Nolan to solve how physics would actually function. “I still have nightmares about that shit,” he says.

A big issue was that the game would be supporting online multiplayer. Because they’re expensive to calculate, physics are calculated locally rather than on the server, and that means that for two people playing together, an object will often end up sitting in different locations on their two machines. That’s fine for decorative details, but for things that are directly related to play, it is not fine at all.

Viscera Cleanup Detail’s bin was where this issue found a particularly terrible focus. “Unreal Engine 3’s physics engine was probably not intended for simulating containers,” says Nolan. “Its physics in general is not designed seriously for multiplayer but we combined those things to create the perfect storm. Bins in some multiplayer tests were amazing things to behold. A yellow box held by a staggering janitor would continuously spew forth a fountain of shell casings, bloody limbs, chunks of viscera and everything else.”

That’s because the network correction system would teleport spilling objects back into the bins, causing them to issue an infinite fountain of the things.

But simply taming game physics outside of multiplayer was a challenge, too. The aim was for the game to feel ‘solid’. “That means feedback and accuracy,” says Nolan. “When you do something to an object it must respond immediately and the result must be very readable, so the player can read the change in the situation.”

This lead to exaggerating the proportion of objects. Bullet casings are, in fact, enormous, and so is the bin, so they’re highly visible and less fiddly to handle, and also less prone to problems such as working their way out of the game world or getting stuck.

How Viscera Cleanup Detail makes menial work fun - gamesread.com

And there was plenty of changing values to see what felt right. One object that took a lot of tweaking was the bucket; specifically, what forces would cause it to tip over. It had to definitely tip if a clumsy player walked into or dropped it, but shouldn’t if it was brushed. It also had to set down firmly on gentle slopes, and stay steady if someone stood on it. The answer was adjusting its centre of mass so it was bottom-heavy, but every little tweak had to be checked against all the things players do with buckets, such has how hard the mop pushes against it when you dip it inside, how your momentum affects it, and how much thrown objects would disturb it.

The mop caused its own challenges. Though blood and grime on the walls is rendered with decals, the same way it usually is in games, in Viscera Cleanup Detail they have to be more dynamic, remaining indefinitely in the world, able to be modified and sharing that state with other players. And they have to have collision detection so the game knows they’re being hit with the mop.

The cleaning system works by setting saturation levels. Each blood splat on a wall or floor has a value for the amount of fluid in it, and each hit of the mop depletes that value, and adds a value to its own saturation level. Once that saturation level reaches a threshold, the mop no longer cleans and instead applies the mess back into the world, so it has to be cleaned in the bucket, which itself has a saturation level. What’s neat is that the mess caused by a bucket spilling is proportional to how saturated it is, though the bucket always causes less mess than what was inside it. The game isn’t entirely malevolent.

The mop is one of Viscera Cleanup Detail’s immediate appeals, flopping and wobbling as you move. “To me it helps to bridge the gap between the player and the physical world of the game,” says Nolan. “The physics of the mop respond to your input immediately and show that your input affects physics in the game directly. After players see the mop, the fact that other things respond with similar physics is more intuitive.”

How Viscera Cleanup Detail makes menial work fun - gamesread.com

It helps that Arn’s work on the mop’s sound design is so squelchily pleasing. “For sounds you’d hear all the time, like using the hands and mopping, I needed something that felt good each time you used them, but also didn’t stick out too much,” he tells me. “The gloves’ squelch, the mop’s watery slosh, the grinding feel when your mop is painting blood.” He recorded almost all the sound effects himself; the mop’s splats are a combination of hitting wet ground and footsteps on wet ground, lightly hitting water in a bucket, some general impacts, such as hitting concrete with stick, “And I think there was also a touch of the mic hitting foliage.”

Nolan doesn’t remember whether the mop was always meant to be physics-enabled, but he shows me a concept drawing of the janitor with a mop from the start of the project. The mop is identical and absolutely calls out to be made from physics tentacles.

“That is probably a pattern we had throughout,” says Nolan. “Various mechanics were not going to use physics simulation according to their initial design, but when implementing we tried using physics and it stuck because it made the thing more interesting, even though it made development much harder at just about every turn.”

Worth it, though. The brothers’ hard work found the fun in all the hard work you get to play.

Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Tencent Games will release a large update for Monster Hunter Online in China this summer. Major new contents in this update include 7 new monsters, new weapon talent, new map, and a number of costumes and pets, etc.

Monster Hunter Online is available now for PC in China, and there is no words on whether this game will be launched in North America and Europe.

New Monster

Uragaan(爆锤龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Abiorugu(狞龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Tigrex(炎轰龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Black Gravios(黑铠龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Gold Rathian(金火龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Dancing Thunder Wyvern(舞雷龙)
Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Nargacuga(迅龙)Monster Hunter Online Summer Expansion Adds 7 New Monsters and More on gamesread

Spider-Man PS4 Features “Great Cast” With “Lot of Classic Villains” on gamesread

Spider-Man PS4 Features “Great Cast” With “Lot of Classic Villains” on gamesread

Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man earned its fair share of accolades at E3 2017 but many are wondering about the number of villains to be expected. We know that Mr. Negative and Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin will be factors but what about some of the more infamous villains in the universe?

According to creative director Bryan Intihar in an interview with Electric Playground at E3 2017, there’s a pretty big cast in the game. Villains, of course, are a part of it.

“We have a great cast and Peter is just one of many, many characters we have in the game. It’s a big, big cast. We have a lot of classic villains and we have a lot of newcomers as well.”

We’ll have to wait and find out which villains made the cut and which didn’t. But it seems safe to bet that Green Goblin, Dr. Octopus or even Mysterio could make an appearance in some shape or form. Which villains are you hoping to see? Let us know below.

gamesread | Original Shadow Warrior alpha and beta released

gamesread | Original Shadow Warrior alpha and beta released

Shadow Warrior [official site] has never been my favourite of the Build Engine games (it’s Blood all the way for me) but that entire FPS era has a special place in my heart. It’s also worth nothing that Shadow Warrior is kicking Duke’s ass when it comes to remakes and sequels. As of today, you can explore the history of the original 1997 release by playing the alpha and beta versions of the game, which are now available free on Steam. The 1997 original has been free for some time, but now you can choose to play either the final release or either of the pre-release versions through the launcher.

The preserving and sharing of history in this way seems like a Good Thing all round, . You can read a detailed analysis of the beta version, which leaked back in the day, over on Hendricks266’s site, which is as pleasingly oldschool as Shadow Warrior itself.

“Prototypes of games have always fascinated me. Shadow Warrior is no exception. The 0.90 “beta” was leaked by a tech support employee who wanted to play a modem game with his friend. Unfortunately, the game spread farther than his friend, and this employee was fired. One difference in this version is you begin the first level in a completely different location. There are also quite a few unreleased maps included in this version, which can be selected through the user levels. There is also a ton of unused art, and even some other good stuff.”

There’s something particularly fascinating about prototypes of Build Engine games. The finished articles often seemed like they were straining to contain all of the ideas thrown into them, and I’m interested to see how all of the elements were remixed or boiled down. For more of the beautiful weirdness of Build, check out our retrospective on the most nineties of engines.

The Dark Knight Joins Black Desert Online March 1 – Create Yours Today – gamesread.com

The Dark Knight Joins Black Desert Online March 1 – Create Yours Today - gamesread.com\

 

Kakao Games today announced that Black Desert Online’s new playable class, the Dark Knight, will be available from Wednesday, March 1. Starting today, players can select and customize the Dark Knight using the Character Creator, allowing them to decide on the appearance of their new character before she is officially added to Black Desert Online next week.

 

In addition, all Black Desert Online players can receive an extra character slotfrom the loyalty shop at practically no cost (1 loyalty) and the maximum amount of character slots is extended to 13 to support the additional class.

 

Teased earlier this month, the Dark Knight hails from the ancient land of Kamasylvia, which she left after causing a large-scale disagreement among Kamasylvia inhabitants, after seeking out and using forbidden powers of darkness that extinguish natural forces. In battle, the Dark Knight mercilessly unleashes this terrifying skill, stripping the life force of her enemies by using her two-handed Kriegsmesser sword or her array of dark magic attacks. Even though her sword is cumbersome, she skillfully dances around her foes chaining her heavy attacks with ranged spells.

 

The Dark Knight, as well as the Kamasylvia territory coming later, will both be available as free updates.

 

Watch the Dark Knight overview video:

 

 

Get a free 7-day trial for Black Desert Online here.

 

Limited Time Sale
To celebrate the arrival of the Dark Knight and Black Desert Online’s 1st anniversary, you can save 30% when purchasing the Traveler’s Package or 50% when opting for the Explorer’s Package. You can benefit from the sale up until March 12. Visit the store for more information and to order your Black Desert Online game pass.

 

 

gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects

Another City of Heroes inspired MMO Valiance Online has recently demoed improved visual effects for spells and environment. The developer Silverhelm Studios also improved the character creation system. Now take a look at new new visual effects in the video below.

The graphics in 2015
gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects
Expected graphics in 2017
gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects
gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects
Being an indie MMO, Valiance Online is a Unity-based game that has been in development for several years. The game is still in Alpha phase and there's no release time at the moment.

gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects
gamesread | Superhero MMO Valiance Online Demos Beautiful Spell Effects

gamesread – Galahad and Albion’s Release Dates Revealed

Galahad and the release of Albion Online are fast approaching! Find out all you need to know from the man himself, Game Director Robin Henkys:

That is right, Galahad is coming to Albion Online on March 13, 2017. Bringing an entire new world layout, complete rework of PvE and much more, this update is a force to be reckoned with. Want to know more? You can find a full overview of what Galahad brings on the Galahad update page. The detailed changelogs for this update will be released on March 13.

But wait… there is more! We are happy and proud to announce that Albion Online will officially launch this summer, on July 17, 2017. This means that after this date we will no longer wipe the servers and it is up to you to start writing Albion Online’s history. Are you ready to start your adventure with us? We know we are!

Upon launch Albion will be available on Windows, OSX and Linux. Full Android and iOS Support will be available after official release.

To help us test Galahad, we will open the test server "Mordred (Staging)" to our Legendary Founders shortly. More information on this can be found here.

In order to prepare for Galahad, the Albion live servers will go down on March 10 at 10:00 UTC and will come back on March 13. During the downtime, all data will be wiped. You will get back all your Founder items, Gold purchased through the website and referral rewards upon logging in after the wipe.

Legendary Founders will be able to explore Galahad on March 13, Epic Founders on March 14 and Veteran Founders on March 15.

Are you excited for Galahad? Share your thoughts and feedback in the comments below and on the forums!

Albion Development Recap (February 21) on gamesread

The complete overhaul of the Outlands (black zone continent) one of the main reasons behind the upcoming wipe and a center piece of the Galahad update, but it has been a few months since we last talked about it. Join Robin Henkys as he tells you all you need to know about the new Outlands:

Back in October, we first revealed our plans to redesign the Outlands. These new Outlands combine the best aspects from both Closed Beta and Final Beta, as well as some new features.

The Outlands will be divided into three distinct regions: low, medium and high end.  While they all contain valuable resources, the density of high tier resources will be noticeably different in each region making the high end the most attractive to top tier guilds and alliances.

Each region will have dedicated, meaningful hot spots in its inner zones, encouraging constant PvP action. The outer zones will be quieter places for guilds to settle, with room for solo and group play. As we have moved the different time zones closer together and changed the travel distance to not hinder overall gameplay, neighboring guilds will certainly run into each other very often. Watch your back!

Since the black zone continent is all about guilds and guild territories there will only be two cities present. This small number will ensure they are always lively and function properly as a local trading hub. Aside from cities, there are also several harbors present with connections to the Royal Continent.

Lastly, the main advantage of the new Outlands design is that it is very adaptable to different population sizes. If the population is high, we can very easily add more regions to ensure everyone has a spot. In case the population is lower than expected, players will naturally migrate to the more valuable regions and there will still be constant PvP action. 

Click here to learn more about the Outlands redesign.

Stay tuned for more information on Galahad later this week! In the meanwhile, make sure to let us know your thoughts and feedback on the Outlands in the comments below or on our forums.