#16: AI Moves on Eve Players…

In today’s issue of DailyBits we make a nostalgic journey down to the arcade on memory lane with 198X, we learn that the Ni No Kuni franchise is getting bigger now that a third instalment is in the works, and gasp in horror as an AI launches an unprecedented attack on EVE Online players.

Top Story

It’s WAR! Drifters attack players in EVE Online

Oh the carnage! Oh the ISK! EVE Online players are coming under a sustained attack from previously passive – although incredibly deadly – Drifter ships: The usually benign NPC faction has decided it’s had enough of human players and their space-faring ways.

Battleships from the faction have begun launching coordinated strikes against player ships and player-owned installations. Usually this kind of event is announced by developer CCP Games so everyone gets a heads up on the impending and quite costly affair. No word this time.

Keep calm, and carry on fleeing

Several dozen Drifter vessels now roam around in fleets as they go about their campaign of destruction. Not even escape pods are safe as they blast everything in sight. The timing of this attack couldn’t be worse for some players as they’re already left nursing costly wounds from PvP skirmishes. EVE Online is quite notorious for its player-on-player backstabbing and intrigue.

What’s CCP up to? The EVE Online economy is sure to take a walloping from this.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which comet features in Call of Cthulhu: Shadow of the Comet?

  • Halley’s Comet
  • Howard’s Comet
  • Gallia’s Comet
  • It’s just called “The Comet”

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Doctor Who: The Edge of Time introduces new monster

A full feature-length Doctor Who adventure awaits virtual reality gamers in The Edge of Time, which launches for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and the Vive Cosmos. The VR adventure introduces a brand-new race of monsters – the Hydrorks – alongside Weeping Angels and – of course – Daleks, all of whom are revealed in a series of behind-the-scenes teasers. Doctor Who: The Edge Of Time is out September 2019.

Deliver Us The Moon packaged for PC and console

Action, adventure, sci-fi – it’s all packed together in Deliver Us The Moon and getting shipped out to PC and console later in 2019. KeokeN Interactive envisions a future where Earth’s resources are nearly depleted, forcing a typically divided humanity to work together and form the Worldwide Space Agency. The plan? To colonize the moon, and use it as a power source. What could go wrong?

Daily Fact

Dante ‘too cool’ for Umbrella Corp. squares

Capcom’s action-packed Devil May Cry series actually started life as an entry in another well-established series: What eventually became the first Devil May Cry game was originally supposed to become Resident Evil 4! How could it turn out this way?

It all started with Capcom’s desire for a more action-focused Resident Evil game, and series writer

It started when there were internal calls for a more action-focused Resident Evil, and so writer Noboru Sugimura came up with a scenario following game director Hideki Kamiya’s new idea: A mystery revolving around the main character’s body! The story would revolve around protagonist Tony investigating why he’s so much stronger, smarter (and presumably cooler) than everyone else.

Finding his best angle

Since a fixed camera angle didn’t really fit Tony’s more dynamic and action-oriented adventure, the developers opted for a fully 3D game world with a more flexible camera. This drastic change to the Resident Evil formula meant the team needed a new level design approach, leading them to go to the UK to study gothic architecture. However, Tony’s super-powers and fighting style didn’t really fit with Resident Evil’s survival-horror gameplay.

Thus, Devil May Cry was born. Sugimura’s original scenario was shelved in favour of a whole new universe teeming with demons, drawing inspiration from The Divine Comedy by Florentine poet Dante Alighieri. Tony was renamed Dante in his honor, and the rest is history.

Devil May Cry was announced in November 2000 and released less than a year later, in August 2001.

Daily Giveaway

Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love (PC)

Time for another giveaway from your pals at Dailybits! Are you a fan of funny point-and-click adventures like Monkey Island, Sam & Max, and the Deponia series? Well, there’s a new one out now – comedy spy thriller Irony Curtain: From Matryoshka with Love – and we’ve got a Steam code to give out every day this week to one lucky winner on our active reader list!

“Take a look behind Irony Curtain in this satirical point-and-click inspired by the best works of LucasArts and Daedalic Entertainment! Experience the totalitarian Matryoshka through the eyes of Evan – a low-ranking, goofy journalist involuntarily pulled right into the middle of an espionage stand-off between two powers. Jump into the wacky spy adventure, uncover secrets of the bizarre communist country (and the powerful capitalist empire!), witness a story full of unpredictable twists and turns, and discover the true agenda of the mysterious Supreme Leader!”

Daily News

First update for Super Mario Maker 2 already out

Nintendo has pushed the first update for Super Mario Maker 2 down the green pipe. It’s not entirely certain what plumbing is being patched up, since Nintendo’s rather coy about it. All they will say is that it will “… make for a more pleasant gaming experience.” Well, we all want that, don’t we?

Super Mario Maker 2 is a faithful follow-up to the original, even including one of its crash bugs! It’s pretty rare, since it requires your character to be holding an item and facing the screen when you land on a Yoshi and a Fire Flower after a jump. This unpleasant combination of events causes the game to crash the Switch – and while it sounds like it shouldn’t occur too often, it’s exactly the kind of thing mean-spirited people will put in their levels to screw you. Maybe that’s what the patch is for?

Super Mario Maker 2 launched today worldwide for Nintendo Switch.

Stadia exclusive Gylt not so exclusive after all?

When Google announced its fancy cloud console Stadia, they also announced that Gylt by developer Tequila Works would be their first major exclusive. Except it won’t! It’s more of a timed exclusive, and quite a pricey one since it appears to only be available if you buy the £120 Stadia Founder’s Edition bundle.

“[We] haven’t confirmed that it’s an exclusive yet,” said Tequila Works co-founder and creative director, Raúl Rubio Munárriz, presumably trying to stay on the good side of Google’s slavering marketing people. So, is it an exclusive or not? “We haven’t answered that yet and I cannot answer yet.” Corporate speak at its evasive best.

You twist and turn like a twisty-turny thing!

Gylt is a narrative-focused exploration game that appears darker than 2017’s RiME, starring a young girl from the town Bethelwood. It appears to be a creepy place, plastered with not-so-nice slogans and crawling with monsters. Will you need a Stadia to explore Bethelwood? Raúl Rubio Munárriz clears it up once and for all: “[We] will try to make Gylt accessible for everyone. […] I guess it’s not a design question, it’s more of a business question. Today is not the time to answer that question but rest assured, everyone will be able to play the game.”

Gylt, exclusive or not, will debut alongside Google’s Stadia when it launches November 30, 2019.

Quote of the Week

Exclusivity, Epic Games and the Wider Games Industry

Epic Games has made itself quite unpopular with broad swathes of the gaming community in the past dew months. While dubious data security and a bare-bones store lacking basic features like a shopping cart irk some, most of the anger stems from Epic’s aggressive pursuit of exclusive games for Epic Game Store.

Several eagerly anticipated games originally scheduled to release on Steam are now exclusive to Epic Game Store, including the crowd-funded Shenmue 3. Backers were supposed to be rewarded with Steam keys, while higher tiers promised beta testing via Steam. The announcement – made earlier this month at E3 – enraged backers, who had no warning about the change or for that matter any offers for refunds.

Epic Games founder and CEO Tim Sweeney took to Twitter to defend their exclusivity deals, starting that:

“We believe exclusives are the only strategy that will change the 70/30 status quo at a large enough scale to permanently affect the whole game industry.”

Sweeney seems to advocate more competition between game stores: “For example, after years of great work by independent stores (excluding big publishers like EA-Activision-Ubi), none seem to have reached 5% of Steam’s scale. Nearly all have more features than Epic; and the ability to discount games is limited by various external pressures”.

He suggested increased competition will benefit both developers and consumers – and what better way to drive competition than writing checks for exclusivity deals? Not everyone on the internet are convinced altruism is Epic’s sole motive.

Some worry about data security and privacy, since the Chinese company Tencent that owns 40% of Epic Games has proven an unreliable steward of user data in the past. Others would prefer to keep using Steam and its expansive community features, such as reviews, recommendations and discussion forums.

While the astonishing success of Fortnite has provided Epic with the means to compete against Valve’s deeply entrenched market position, it’s less clear whether they will be able to win the hearts and minds of Steam’s loyal userbase. One thing is certain: It will be interesting to see how the games industry will change over the next few years.

Under The Radar

198X is ready to take you on a journey down memory lane

One look at 198X should be enough to send anyone who grew up in the late 80s and early 90s into paroxysms of 16-bit nostalgia. Featuring stunning pixel art, Hi-Bit Studios kickstarted arcade homage tells a coming of age story through several different classic genres.

You play a teenager named Kid, currently living through that awkward phase where you’re not exactly an innocent child any longer – but you’re definitely not a responsible adult either! As Kid beats the games in his local arcade, he feels more in control of his life – but also finds that the line between game and reality begins to blur!

198X consists of five different short games in the beat’em-up, shoot’em-up, racing, ninja and RPG genres. The games appear inspired by classics like Streets of Rage, R-Type, Outrun, Shinobi and Phantasy Star, and each last between ten and twenty-five minutes depending on your playstyle. According to the game’s Steam store page, the experience is supposed to last for about two hours.

Originally funded on Kickstarter in early 2017, the game received backing from around 1920 retro enthusiasts who broke the funding goal by over 100,000SEK. Hi-Bit Studios is planning more chapters in the 198X saga, but they have yet to reveal any information about them.

198X is available on Steam for £9 and on GOG for £7.19, and the developers added fourteen Steam achievements earlier this week. PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch versions are scheduled to appear later this year.

News Bits

Sidewalk carnage in Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition

Finally, an opportunity to be rewarded and recognized for driving your car on the sidewalk! Those squishy meat sacks bursting across your windshield aren’t upstanding citizens, no sirree – they’re undead delinquents! So polish your hubcaps and rev that engine, because Zombie Driver: Immortal Edition is skidding onto Nintendo Switch on July 25th!

More Ni No Kuni in the works at Level-5

The wonderful world of Ni No Kuni is growing bigger with a whole new RPG adventure set to debut after the anime hits cinemas in late August this year. Wrath of the White Witch is also getting remastered for the PlayStation 4, and there’s even a mobile app in the works.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What’s the name of the titular phenomena in the first Call of Cthulhu game, Shadow of the Comet?

Answer: Halley’s Comet!

We have been commemorating the release of Lovecraft-inspired adventure game The Sinking City with a Cthulhu week here at Dailybits, and we’re wrapping up with a question about the first ever Call of Cthulhu game, the adventure game Shadow of the Comet from 1993. It was pretty tricky, especially since it was a point-and-click adventure without mouse support!

As for the titular comet? It was actually the famous Halley’s Comet that set off the wild events of the game, which involved conspiracies, an ominous three-day countdown, and the possible resurgence of one of Lovecraft’s Old Ones. Gallia’s Comet is from Off on a Comet, a book by famous 19th Century sci-fi writer Jules Verne – while ‘The Comet’ is the not-particuilarly-imaginative name of the zombie-causing phenomena in the 1984 movie Night of the Comet.

And Howard’s Comet? That’s the first name of the creator of the Cthulhu mythos himself, Howard Phillips Lovecraft!

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