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Timbaland Music Pack Coming to Beat Saber Next Week

The Facebook Game Developers Showcase continues today with an announcement from Beat Games. Next week will see the studio add another music pack to Beat Saber’s track library, with a selection of original songs from Timbaland.

The well-known rapper and music producer has created a set of exclusive tracks spanning different genres featuring artists like Bruno Martini, Kaydence, Nash Overstreet, Karra & Common Strangers and Sid Tipton.

Full Timbaland Music Pack tracklist:

  • Sid Tipton, Timbaland – Has A Meaning
  • Kaydence, Timbaland – Dumb Thingz
  • Wavezswavesz – While We’re Young
  • Nash Overstreet, Karra & Common Strangers – What I Like
  • Bruno Martini, Timbaland – Famous ft. Jake Davis
  • The Timbaland Music Pack will be available across all of Beat Saber’s supported platforms including Oculus Quest and Rift S, Valve Index, HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality and PlayStation VR. The pack will be available from 26th March 2020 at 6am PT (1pm GMT), retailing for $7.99 USD. The songs will also be released across popular music services Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes for $1.99 each.

    Well-known artists such as Imagine Dragons, Green Day, K/DA, and more have seen continued success on Beat Saber with Facebook noting that over 10 million songs have been sold through downloadable content. Yesterday, Facebook – which owns Beat Games – revealed that over 20 titles had generated $1 million in revenue on Oculus Quest and Beat Saber was probably one of them.

    Beat Saber has been one of the most successful VR titles selling over 2 million copies worldwide whilst spawning it own arcade machine. Originally released into Steam Early Access back in 2018, Beat Saber saw its official launch take place a year later, adding new platforms as well as new features like the Level Editor.

    The title scored a maximum stars in VRFocus’ review, finding that both PC and Oculus Quest versions were equally a worthwhile purchase, offering highly energetic VR gaming that’s difficult to put down. VRFocus will continue its coverage of Beat Saber, reporting back with the latest updates.

    Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    Hearthstone Battlegrounds UPDATE: Patch Notes and Demon Hunter Class reveal

    A lot of big news has been shared today by Blizzard, along with a new Hearthstone update to download.

    For Hearthstone fans who enjoy playing the Auto-Battler, Blizzard has confirmed that the Demon Hunter Class launch will extend to Battlegrounds as well.

    Demon Hunters will be a big part of Hearthstone’s early 2020 expansion plans and Battlegrounds fans can expect some changes too.

    It has been confirmed that Illidan Stormrage will make his way into Hearthstone Battlegrounds on March 26, offering up his own unique abilities.

    These include the Passive Start of Combat ability which allows Your left and right-most minions to attack immediately.

    This also means that another big Hearthstone Battlegrounds update will be going live next week, to make way for the launch of Stormrage.

    HEARTHSTONE BATTLEGROUNDS PATCH NOTES FOR MARCH 17

    Today has seen a new Hearthstone update go live on all platforms, removing some heroes and adding a new one.

    As confirmed by Blizzard, Ragnaros, Sylvanas, and Patches have been removed from the pool.

    However, the new hero Fungalmancer Flurgl has been added and boasts the ability Gone Fishing.

    This Passive move adds a random Murloc to Bob’s Tavern after you sell a Murloc.

    Other heroes that have been added back into the pool for Battlegrounds include Sir Finley Mrrglton and Professor Putricide.

    Balance changes for Heroes and Minions can be found below:

    READ MORE

    • Teamfight Tactics Mobile release date: TFT Mobile launch news

    Heroes

    • The Lich King
      • Reborn Rites:
      • [Cost 1] Give a friendly minion Reborn for next combat only. → [Cost 1] Give a friendly minion Reborn for next combat only (targeted).
    • Ysera
      • Dream Portal:
      • [Cost 1] Refresh and add a Dragon to Bob’s Tavern. → [Passive] At the start of your turn, add a Dragon to Bob’s Tavern.
      • Pyramad
        • Brick by Brick:
        • [Cost 1] Give a random friendly minion +3 Health. → [Cost 1] Give a random friendly minion +4 Health.
        • Millhouse Manastorm
          • Manastorm:
          • [Passive] Minions cost 2 Gold. Refresh costs 2 Gold. Start with 2 Gold. → [Passive] Minions cost 2 Gold. Refresh costs 2 Gold. Start with 3 Gold.
          • The Rat King
            • King of Beasts, Mechs, Murlocs, Demons and Dragons:
            • [Passive] Whenever you buy a Beast/Mech/Murloc/Demon/Dragon, give it +1/+1. → [Passive] Whenever you buy a Beast/Mech/Murloc/Demon/Dragon, give it +1/+2.
            • Milificient Manastorm
              • Tinker:
              • [Passive] Mechs in Bob’s Tavern have +1 Attack. → [Passive] Mechs in Bob’s Tavern have +2 Attack. 
                • ALL Will Burn!:
                • [Passive] ALL minions have +3 Attack. → [Passive] ALL minions have +2 Attack.Reno Jackson
                  • Gonna Be Rich!:
                  • [Cost 4] Make a friendly minion Golden. (Once per game.) → [Cost 3] Make a friendly minion Golden. (Once per game.)
                  • Minions

                    • Savannah Highmane
                      • Old: Tavern Tier 5 → New: Tavern Tier 4.
                      • Herald of Flame
                        • Old: 4 Health → New: 6 Health.
                        • Golden Old: 8 Health → Golden New: 12 Health.
                        • Steward of Time
                          • Old: 2 Attack → New: 3 Attack.
                          • Golden Old: 4 Attack → Golden New: 6 Attack.
                          • Kalecgos, Arcane Aspect
                            • Old: 2 Attack / 8 Health → New:  4 Attack / 12 Health.
                            • Golden Old: 4 Attack / 16 Health → Golden New: 8 Attack / 24 Health.
                            • Nathrezim Overseer
                              • Old: 4 Health → New: 3 Health.
                              • Golden Old: 8 Health → New: 6 Health.
                              • Twilight Emissary
                                • Old: Tavern Tier 5, 6 Attack / 8 Health, Battlecry: Give a friendly Dragon +3/+3 → New: Tavern Tier 3, 4 Attack / 4 Health, Battlecry: Give a friendly Dragon +2/+2.
                                • Golden Old: 12 Attack / 16 Health, Battlecry: Give a friendly Dragon +6/+6 → Golden New: 8 Attack / 8 Health, Battlecry: Give a friendly Dragon +4/+4
                                • Transformation animations when playing a minion from hand will be sped up during the Recruit Phase, cutting down on the amount of time players are left waiting for animations to resolve.

                                Blizzard has also announced a new Tavern Pass for Hearthstone in 2020, with perks being made available to those who play Hearthstone Battlegrounds alongside the main game mode.

                                Details:

                                “With the release of Ashes of Outland, we’re introducing the Tavern Pass—an all-new way to access Perks for Battlegrounds.

                                “Available for $19.99 or 2500 Gold, the Tavern Pass includes four Arena Tickets and the following Battlegrounds Perks for the duration of the Ashes of Outland expansion cycle: advanced stats, visual emotes, a third and fourth hero to choose from at the start of a game, and early access to new Battlegrounds Heroes (subject to the release schedule of new Heroes).

                                “If you currently have Battlegrounds bonus stats, choose from 3 Heroes, or visual emotes unlocked—you will get access to the equivalent new perk starting on March 26. Battlegrounds Perks earned from collecting Descent of Dragons packs (including the new perks such as choosing from 4 heroes) will expire once Ashes of Outland is released.

                                “With the introduction of the Tavern Pass, which is included in the Ashes of Outland Mega Bundle, players will no longer have to purchase card packs in order to unlock Battlegrounds Perks.”

                                Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    GOG Giving Away Witcher Bonus Content For Its Spring Sale

    GOG.com has its annual spring sale going on, and with that sale comes a giveaway that’ll please any fans of The Witcher. They’ve bundled together “The Witcher Goodies Collection,” a mash-up of bonus content related to all three main series Witcher games, along with content related to Thornbreaker: The Witcher Tales, the narrative-driven Gwent-based RPG set in the Witcher universe.

    The content is made up of four different “goodie packs,” one for each game. Each of these packs contains between 2.6 and 4.3 gigabytes worth of Witcher-related content, ranging from comics and artwork to printable paper toys and game soundtracks.

    For the bilingual Witcher fans (or those who don’t read English and are only able to make it through this article using Google Translate), there are also smaller “bonus packs” available in six different languages: Polish, German, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish.

    RELATED: New Witcher Game To Follow Cyberpunk 2077 (But It Won’t Be The Witcher 4)

    There is also 4k video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Video Game Show concert from the 9th Film Music Festival in Kraków — something that CD Prokect Red had originally put up for purchase on YouTube back in 2017.

    If the 4K footage is a bit too large of a download (or your computer isn’t good enough to take advantage of it), then it’s also available in 1080p, 720p and DVD-quality downloads.

    In all, it’s a massive amount of content covering the game’s story, lore, and characters that any Witcher junkie will have a good time looking through.

    The goodie packs will be free until Wednesday, so if you even have the slightest interest in the content, head over to GOG.com and snatch it up before it disappears. While you’re there, it might be worth taking a look at the sales for all of CD Projekt Red’s catalog — the original The Witcher can be picked up for as little as $1.50, and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt Game of the Year Edition is currently 70 percent off, costing a mere $15.00.

    Source: Read Full Article

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    PS4

    Call of Duty: Warzone adds solos mode

    You can now play Call of Duty: Warzone in a solos-only mode. Developer Infinity Ward unlocked the solos mode on Tuesday. Call of Duty: Warzone was released for free on March 10 with three-person squads.

    If you wanted to play solo, you could disable squad filling — but you’d have to play alone, at a disadvantage to other teams with three players. Now, that’s unnecessary: Unless you want to play at that disadvantage, you can queue up for solos by selecting Battle Royale Solos from the Call of Duty: Warzone menu screen.

    Some things change in solos. With no teammates, there’s no one to buy you back into the game should you die; the only option is earning your way back through the Gulag. You can, however, purchase self-revive kits from the Buy Stations around the map or find them elsewhere.

    Call of Duty: Warzone is the series’ newly released take on the battle royale genre. It adds some exciting changes to the well-established genre by introducing the Gulag, a one-on-one fight-club-esque way to battle your way back into the fray. It’s available on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

    Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    Pick Up Red Dead Redemption 2 On PlayStation 4 While It’s 50% Off

    In the midst of a very unfortunate crisis, Red Dead Redemption II has been given a sizable discount for players to take advantage of. Its special edition has also received a similar discount.

    On the PlayStation Store, the Standard Edition and Special Edition for Red Dead Redemption II on PlayStation 4 have been given 50% and 55% discounts, respectively. Their discount prices can be seen below.

    RELATED: Red Dead Redemption 2: How To Play Poker

    • Red Dead Redemption II (Standard Edition) – $29.99
    • Red Dead Redemption II (Special Edition) – $35.99

    As noted on the PlayStation Store, Red Dead Redemption II‘s standard edition only includes the base game. Meanwhile, Red Dead Redemption II‘s special edition includes the base game, as well as the Bank Robbery Mission & Gang Hideout, the Dappled Black Thoroughbred horse, the Talisman and Medallion bonuses, a variety of gameplay boosts, cash bonuses, discounts, and the Nuevo Paraiso Gunslinger Outfit. For only $6 more, the special edition of the game seems like a worthwhile investment, given the usual $20 price difference.

    Red Dead Redemption and its sequel, Red Dead Redemption II, are easily two of the finest games of the last decade. In fact, they may be some of the greatest games of all-time. With amazing stories, memorable characters, and open worlds, they are surely some of the most compelling games of this generation. If you are new to the series and were hesitant toward buying Red Dead Redemption II at full price, now is a great time to pick it up.

    Frankly, now may be the best time to invest in a game like Red Dead Redemption II. As more and more places initiate lockdowns, folks will be more confined to their homes where a main source of entertainment could be video games. Red Dead Redemption II has a world that is easy to get lost in and is a great form of escape. As one of the best titles of the 2010s, it is easy to get lost in its Old West setting. With an engaging single-player mode and plenty of things to do after beating it, its sheer breadth of content will keep you busy during this period of time (and onward).

    Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    How tabletop RPG actual play shows are inspiring a new generation of fans — and products

    In the past five years, role-playing games have evolved beyond a niche hobby, growing in popularity among players. While the tabletop industry as a whole has been growing, in large part because of crowdfunding, RPGs have leapt ahead due to the birth of actual play shows. The medium has expanded beyond its strictly participatory roots to become a form of spectator entertainment akin to improv, with tendrils that touch comedy, drama, and mystery.

    Per-channel engagement numbers are closely guarded metrics, but according to StreamElements, 2019 saw an aggregated 19.5 million viewing hours across YouTube and Twitch. This represents a 1,142% increase over 2018. It also aligns with a significant uptick in sales of new player products according to Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast.

    Unlike other tabletop experiences, which often provide concrete rules for even the most unlikely of situations, roleplaying is a loosely scripted, intimate experience. It gives players the room to sink into another persona, whether that’s to hunt monsters or solve a murder through investigation and interrocation.

    It’s that space between the rules that has spawned a form of roleplaying that transcends the traditionally cloistered dining room table to become a theatrical stage. Tabletop RPGs (and all board games) have traditionally suffered from a variety of accessibility challenges. Scheduling woes abound—ask any tabletop RPG group how hard it is to find an agreeable time for four or six people and you’ll be met with nervous laughter and cringes.

    Geography is a constraint for assembling your party. And then you may have to content with a mismatch among player expectations. A game filled with dungeon dives and combat on a tactical map is different than an investigation that involves speaking with a number of game master-voiced NPCs.

    Technology has helped some of this, of course. Skype, Discord, Tabletop Simulator, Google Wave (RIP), and Roll20 are digital solutions for an audience already sold on tabletop RPGs. What these don’t provide is an on-ramp for potential players curious about how these games work. That’s where actual play shows come in.

    The movement started in 2010 with the first Acquisitions, Inc. panel/live play at PAX. But it was in 2015, when Critical Role hit the scene, that actual play shows became their own genre of entertainment. (Critical Role did not respond to requests for comment by publication.)

    “It was March 2015 that Critical Role debuted on Geek & Sundry,” said Greg Tito, senior communications manager for Dungeons & Dragons at publisher Wizards of the Coast. “My involvement started at that same time. I didn’t really have a lot of context with how to work with talent in this way necessarily, but I immediately recognized that this was going to be the future. I saw the success that Acquisitions, Incorporated had in acquiring new audience members. The Critical Role audience, though it started small, ended up growing very quickly.

    “It was also the time that Twitch had just been acquired by Amazon, and the entire ecosystem started to shift toward people watching other people play video games. I thought that doubling down on more tabletop live play shows would be a huge boon to the entire franchise. We started ‘Dice, Camera, Action’ in 2016, because that was a promotion for Curse of Strahd. Originally, that was going to be a short-running show drawing on YouTube popularity, as well as people who were known from other areas such as esports and things like that. That became insanely popular, I think mostly due to [Dungeons & Dragons principal story designer] Chris Perkins’ involvement from D&D. That audience got into it and every cast member brought their own [audience]. The success of that allowed us to create relationships with smaller tabletop roleplayers that were in front of an audience. The entire ecosystem began to grow from there.”

    RPG publishers and actual play groups: the beginning of a beautiful friendship

    Live-action roleplay (LARP) has built a strange reputation for itself over the years. The most common shared imagery is of a bunch of folks running around in the woods, beating each other up with foam weapons. While this is certainly a form of LARP, it isn’t the full scope of what roleplaying troupes can do with great RPG systems, lore, and a generous helping of theatrical flair.

    Jason Carl, the brand manager at World of Darkness and the storyteller behind Geek & Sundry’s “L.A. By Night” Vampire: The Masquerade actual play show, explained that LARP and actual play streaming shows have more in common than people tend to realize.

    “LARP is a kind of living MMO, a living video game experience,” Carl said during our interview. “It’s immersive, it’s very immediate, it’s very personal, and in some way, it has more in common with streaming than tabletop does. It’s performative, and there is an audience [built in]: the other players involved. It’s a very rules-light and fast-paced cinematic system. Designing for LARP has more in common with working on the streaming show than it ever had.”

      • “Chicago By Night” is one of

      Vampire: The Masquerade

        ‘s sourcebooks.

      Prior to “L.A. By Night”, World of Darkness’ two major RPG properties, Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, worked with theatrical licensors like Mind’s Eye in Florida. But as Carl discussed with us, licensing shows is still a unique, separate venture from creating an actual play show from internal resources, much as World of Darkness has done with “L.A. By Night.”

      It isn’t to say that World of Darkness is the only TTRPG publisher to take notice of the need to develop internal actual play shows, instead of leaning on external creators like Critical Role and Penny Arcade. When Wizards of the Coast first approached Tanya DePass, a cast member of official Dungeons & Dragons actual play show, “Rivals of Waterdeep”, it was with this in mind. We spoke to DePass about how “Rivals of Waterdeep” (and her role as Selise Astorio) first came together.

      “[Greg Tito] approached me and he’s like, ‘Hey, do you know anyone who’d be interested in being on an actual play show based in Chicago?’” DePass told us. “I guess he’d already had some conversations with part of the cast that he met [elsewhere]. ‘The idea is we’re going to show everyone can play D&D, everyone can learn. They don’t have to be someone who’s been playing since red book, first edition. They maybe have never touched a d20 in their life.’”

      Tito told us that streaming and actual play has been part of his goal since he joined the company in 2015. His work with DePass and “Rivals of Waterdeep” was born from an event featuring the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist story and a desire to showcase a more diverse Dungeons & Dragons community.

      Above: The “Rivals of Waterdeep” cast, from left to right: Brandon Stennis, Surena Marie, Cicero Holmes (sitting), Shareef Jackson (in hat), Tanya DePass, and Carlos Luna.

      “As we were planning that, we had a bunch of creators that were people of color and other communities that you don’t necessarily associate with Dungeons & Dragons,” Tito said. “I reached out to Tanya DePass—who I knew as a strong voice in the community and was in the Chicago area—and another group of roleplayers who just put their toe into doing D&D related content, but were mostly known as improv actors and comedians. For some of them it was brand new. They had never played Dungeons & Dragons at all.”

      Anecdotally, we’ve both known our share of folks who have refused to play TTRPGs for the same reasons that actual play shows are catching fire. For people who only pick up dice to play mainstream board games, having actual play shows like “Rivals of Waterdeep” removes barriers to enjoy the medium.

      “That visibility that we’ve given people who felt like they didn’t belong, or getting people who tell us, ‘I’ve gone back to playing D&D because I saw your show. I found a bunch of friends. I remember that I own these guys that I haven’t touched in 10, 15 years’” DePass said, expanding on the importance of visibility. “ … If someone never messages you, if someone never contacts you, you never know the impact you’re having. That’s the really important part for me and for all of us.

      “For every one person that may come up to us at a convention, or come to D&D Live and be really grateful, there [are] 100 people that may be impacted and never say a word, because they can’t come to our convention or they don’t do Twitter. They don’t have a way to reach out, but they tune in every week. They may never say a word in chat. They may listen to the podcast. That opportunity, I think, is the biggest thing, just realizing the wonderful and delightful, yet sometimes strenuous, burden [being a public persona] gives us.”

      World of Darkness also saw an opportunity in actual play partnerships. “L.A. By Night” was created to give Vampire: The Masquerade and its community more visibility among a wider roleplaying audience, thanks in part to a partnership with Geek & Sundry.

      The publisher isn’t interested in utilizing “L.A. By Night” to drive sales, even though the show has hit over a million impressions per season between streaming and video-on-demand. Instead, World of Darkness leans into actual play shows to spread brand awareness, continue to build a global audience with players from across a spectrum of experience (including fledgling vampires), and create positive communities that can share their experiences in safe, respectful ways.

      Finding new audiences, at home and around the world

      Above: The Stranger Things Boxed Set gets classic D&D branding.

      The tabletop industry is moving in ways that fold in a geographically diverse audience, also. Wizards of the Coast is making sure it looks outside its established strongholds to build the community.

      “We did Lucca Comics and Games [in 2019], which is like a ComicCon that takes place in the walled medieval city of Lucca, Italy,” Tito said. “It draws 200,000 plus folks from that area. It’s not just gaming. It’s very much like ComicCon and brings people from all different fandoms. The response from us officially being at Lucca last year was phenomenal. Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Magic Mike) did a live game there. We’re doing those types of events again in 2020 and making sure that the largest events we’re doing, like D&D Live, are incorporating influencers and groups from those outside areas as well. We’re hoping that growth in worldwide markets continues to rise in 2020 by bringing more of them into the fold that way.”

      The effort on community building through actual play has been a success across the tabletop RPG segment. Pathfinder publisher Paizo said that actual play shows are crucial for awareness.

      “Getting players to see the 100-plus products Paizo releases every year requires a lot of gamers talking about a lot of different products,” said Jim Butler, Paizo vice president of marketing and licensing. “Every podcast, show, and interview helps with that. It is much more impactful to have players talk about our products with each other. It is also more impactful to see or hear people having fun with your product than to tell people it’s fun; show, don’t tell.”

      Wizards of the Coast has been able to put a finer point on the impact of actual play shows on its brand awareness and sales. While the company wasn’t willing to share its impression numbers, in 2019, live show viewership increased 49%. Of its total views, 15% are during live broadcasts (mostly represented by Twitch), with the remainder coming from video on demand on YouTube.

      “That’s really a new phenomenon,” said Liz Schuh, head of Dungeons & Dragons publishing and licensing. “I’ve been working on D&D since 2000. Back then, the No. 1 way people found out about D&D was always through friends and family. That’s still way up there on the list, but it was only a couple of years ago that online popped up as one of the top ways people find out about D&D and get interested.”

      That, in turn, has led to a major spike in sales for what Wizards of the Coast calls “acquisition products.” These include the starter sets, an Essentials Kit introduced in 2019, and partnership products like the Stranger Things and Rick and Morty boxed sets. Tito and Schuh both draw a straight line back to actual play shows as an on-ramp to learning the game.

      “When we look at those boxed SKUs year-over-year, we saw a 300% growth over 2018,” Schuh said. “A lot of that strength comes from mass market penetration we’ve been able to achieve—Target and Amazon being some key mass market players.”

      Barnes & Noble also plays a major role in Wizards of the Coast’s retail strategy. The book seller fills a gap, especially in areas where specialty shops haven’t been able to sustain themselves.

      Source: Read Full Article

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    Tech

    Coronavirus fears halt autonomous vehicle testing for Uber, Cruise, Aurora, Argo AI, Waymo, and others

    Following Waymo’s announcement that it would pause operations of its commercial ride-hailing service in Pheonix, Arizona and its autonomous car testing on public California roads in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of driverless car companies followed suit. Uber has suspended all vehicle testing, as well as GM’s Cruise, Aurora, and Argo AI.

    “Our goal is to help flatten the curve of community spread,” said Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) CEO Eric Meyhofer in a statement. “Following recent guidance from local and state officials in areas where we operate our self-driving vehicles, we are pausing all test track and on-road testing until further notice.”

    Uber paused operations on March 16, and the company told VentureBeat that the ATG team continues to execute on projects from home with offline virtual simulation tooling like VerCD. Uber had resumed autonomous vehicle testing in San Francisco on March 10 over a month after it received a California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) license, and it has been operated fleets manually in Dallas, Toronto, and Washington, D.C. for several months.

    Cruise’s chief people officer Arden Hoffman said that Cruise has suspended operations and closed all San Francisco facilities for the time being, with a plan to reopen them in three weeks. One of the programs affected is a ride-hailing program in San Francisco called Cruise Anywhere that allows Cruise employees to use an app to get around mapped areas, as well as Cruise’s partnership with DoorDash to deliver food and groceries in the Bay Area for select customers.

    Cruise confirmed that it plans to pay autonomous vehicle operators during the period.

    Aurora VP of operations Greg Zanghi told VentureBeat that Aurora’s entire team — including its test drivers — are working from home and will continue to get paid. In lieu of on-the-road tests, the company will use digital systems like its Virtual Test Suite to continue to fuel development and testing efforts.

    As for Argo AI, a spokesperson told VentureBeat that while it hasn’t experienced a “significant impact” due to the coronavirus, it has taken steps to allow work from home, including pausing car testing operations at all of its locations. Argo was conducting testing in Pittsburgh, where it’s based, as well as in Austin, Miami, Palo Alto, Washington, D.C. and Dearborn, Michigan.

    “Argo AI places the highest priority on ensuring our employees and contractors have a safe, secure and healthy work environment,” said the spokesperson.

    Concern over the spread of the novel coronavirus was is the chief motivator behind the industry-wide pauses in operations. Waymo said it made its decision “in the interest of the health and safety of our riders and the entire Waymo community,” and after at least one incident of a human safety driver in a Waymo One vehicle refusing to pick up a passenger because a local case of COVID-19 had been reported.

    Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    Humble "Just Drive" Bundle Brings Racing Game Bargains to PC Gamers

    Last Thursday, digital storefront Humble Bundle kicked off its “Just Drive” bundle deal that will appeal to sim racers. The bundle is exclusive to PC players using Steam, so if you’ve been biding your time you may want to give this a look.

    For those unfamiliar, the San Francisco-based storefront offers a collection of games at a price determined by the customer, otherwise known as “pay what you want”. A portion of the price goes to charity, with the rest split among the game developers itself. Best of all, what amount goes to whom is entirely at the discretion of the buyer.

    This Just Drive bundle offers a handful of driving games and DLC content that’s sure to pique your interest. With over $320 worth of content overall, all that you need to pick up some new driving games is a mere $1. That’s not a typo — pay $1 (or more) and you’re off to the races, pun thoroughly intended.

    Let’s take a closer look at the bundles.

    Just Drive Pack 1 (Pay $1 or More):

    • WRC 7 FIA World Rally Championship
    • MXGP – The Official Motorcross Videogame
    • MotoGP 15

    Just Drive Pack 2 (Pay $8.69):

    • Road Redemption
    • Project CARS
    • Project CARS Limited Edition Upgrade
    • DiRT 4

    Just Drive Pack 3 (Pay $13 or more):

    • NASCAR Heat 4
    • Project CARS 2
    • Project CARS 2 Japanese Car Bonus Pack
    • Assetto Corsa
    • Assetto Corsa Dream Pack 1
    • Assetto Corsa Dream Pack 2
    • Assetto Corsa Dream Pack 3

    That’s quite the list, if we say so ourselves. The best thing is these aren’t individual purchases and are all-inclusive. This means that if you pay the minimum of $8.69, you receive all the content at that tier and everything above it included as well. The same holds true for paying the top whack of $13 — you’ll receive every game above that tier, for a total of 9 games and five DLC/upgrade packs.

    Should that all get your engine revving, head over to the Just Drive bundle page and get a move on. You only have until Sunday, April 12 before the bundle is no more.

    Photomode image courtesy of G.T.Ace

    Source: Read Full Article

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    News

    How Resident Evil 3 Made Nemesis Scarier Than Mr. X

    Mr. X was the breakout star of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake. That trench coat-clad, paleface monster looked a bit absurd, but we stopped laughing as soon as he started chasing us through the halls of Raccoon City’s police station. The remake of Resident Evil 3 has an intimidating Tyrant of its own, but this creature will be an even bigger part of the experience. If Capcom has its way, Nemesis will put Mr. X shame. 

    “The fact that he’s this hulking mass constantly chasing after you make him pretty scary,” says producer Peter Fabiano. “The fact that he can use weapons, the fact that once he appears he’s going to be constantly in your face trying to get at you, and the fact that he can use his tentacles to grab you all makes him incredibly formidable. We wanted to make him feel imposing and I think that comes through in his movements and his appearance. His appearance is something that we put a lot of time and effort into, trying to get just right.”

    In order to nail that sense of dread that players expect from Resident Evil games, Capcom felt that it needed to spend extra time reworking Nemesis’ design. Yonghee Cho is Capcom’s art director and has been working on the series since the development of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard. When Cho started on Resident Evil 3, he knew he had his work cut out for him with Nemesis. Naturally, the art team started by going back to the original concept drawings from the ‘90s, but they struggled to adapt that design for the modern era. 

    “It just felt like more of the same, so we went back to the drawing board,” Cho says. “The first thing I saw was the clothing. It felt strange to be creating a bioweapon and have it wear clothes. Rather than having him wear clothes, we had him wear something synonymous to a bodybag, something that made him feel like a restrained weapon. At the same time, I wanted to stay true to the original, so the silhouette of the Nemesis still has that iconic look.”

    Capcom’s sound team also ramps up the tension with a pulse pounding soundtrack whenever Nemesis is on screen. During our playthrough, Nemesis’ presence really flustered us, and we had trouble thinking straight whenever he showed up. Brave players can try to go toe-to-toe with Nemesis and those who take him down will be rewarded with weapon upgrades and other goodies, but these battles are hard and Nemesis always returns for another battle. In fact, Nemesis remains incredibly dogged throughout the game and isn’t as easy to run away from as Mr. X who’s plodding movements made him easy to outrun. 

    With Nemesis, Capcom has another legendary villain on its hands, but you won’t have to take our word for it for long. Resident Evil 3 releases on April 3. While you wait to get your hands on the game be sure to read our preview impressions from last month or watch our New Gameplay Today video preview. 








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    eSports

    OG join the WeSave! Charity Play against coronavirus

    OG were set to make the LAN debut of their new roster this week, but as the LA Major had to be postponed due to the pandemic, the back to back The International champions will join the one-week charity online marathon put together by WePlay! ESports.

    OG are the fourth European team to play starting this coming Friday, March 20 in the WeSave! Charity online event along Team Secret, Team Liquid and Nigma. All six major regions will feature four teams playing in a yet to be revealed format for a share of the $20,000 prize pool per region, $120,000 in total. All winnings along with all donations will go to charity organizations fighting COVID -19.

     “We will name the fund that aids efforts to battle COVID-19 and share the detailed algorithm of the collection and transfer of funds as soon as possible. Currently, straightening out some of the legal details with our partners in this venture,” mentioned WePlay esports on their official website today, when they announced OG joining the cause.

    As of now, 15 teams have confirmed their participation along with an impressive list of talent for the English Russian and Ukrainian broadcast.

    WeSave! Charity Play confirmed teams:

    Europe:

    • OG
    • Team Secret
    • Nigma
    • Team Liquid

    CIS:

    • Virtus.pro
    • HellRaisers

    SEA:

    • TNC Predator
    • Geek Fam
    • BOOM Esports

    China:

    • EHOME
    • Invictus Gaming

    South America:

    • beastcoast
    • No-ping Esports
    • Thunder Predator

    North America

    • Business Associates

    Related:

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