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Kerbal Space Program

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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Kerbal Space Program’s next update to add contracts, budget and reputation systems">KSP

There's something about Kerbal Space Program's current update path that I find extremely charming. They've already added the ship-building, space exploring, physics simulation stuff; now they're slowly adding the admin. The next update for SQUAD's space program, titled First Contract, will further expand the career mode with a mission system that ties into new Funds and Reputation systems.

"Career Mode is greatly expanded now by the addition of Funds and Reputation," writes SQUAD's Felipe Falanghe. "Funds are required to launch vessels, and reputation is earned (and lost) by doing contracts (or failing them). In this release, your reputation is already used to regulate the level and amount of contracts offered you. Lower reputation means fewer and less prestigious contract offers, while high reputation means more and more ambitious proposals."

The contracts themselves will be available via the Mission Control Facility, and, when completed, will offer additional Science further boosting Career players up the tech tree.

In addition, Falanghe reveals that First Contract will introduce vessel recovery, letting players reclaim some of the cost of parts; a new mod-friendly UI toolbar that enables easy switching between the messages, resources, currencies and contract panels; and a new tech-tree layout.

For a further look at what First Contract has planned, head to the SQUAD blog.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Kerbal Space Program official mod brings the World Cup to space">KSP

We're into the second stage of the World Cup now, meaning two more weeks of increasingly intense football. That's "we" in the global sense. I don't know how your country of origin performed, but England did not. If you're in a similar position, there are options available to help survive such national disappointment. You could pick a better team to live vicariously through. Or you could download Kerbal Space Program's official 'Kerbin Cup' mod. With it, you're able to take your footballs and hide away in the most desolate reaches of space away from the harsh reality of underperforming athletes.

"The Kerbin Cup pack contains Kerbal-sized and rocket-sized soccer balls with the physics to match, as well as the flags of all 32 World Cup participating countries," explain SQUAD on the mod's download page. "It s both a small token of gratitude and a way to capture the excitement of one of the world s biggest sporting events, but in the grand stage that only space can provide."

This is the first 'official' mod for KSP, created by developers SQUAD. Of course, there are also plenty of unofficial mods out there. Find a round-up of the best right here.

Thanks, PCGamesN.
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
As the World Cup concludes its group play stage, the folks at Squad are taking a short intermission from space travel and celebrating the world's love for soccer. The studio has revealed the first official mod for Kerbal Space Program, adding their own contribution to the beautiful game called "The Kerbin Cup."
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 7">steam sale day 7

We've now been living and breathing the Steam Summer Sale for a week, losing sleep for every flash sale, antsy with anticipation every time the new deals tick over. We're feverish from the savings, but it would be madness to stop saving now. Today's deals fuel our appetite for strategy, shooting, and launching valiant little green men into space on absurdly oversized rockets.

Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.

Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - The Banner Saga

50% off: $12.49 / 9.49 - Steam store page

One of the biggest artistic achievements in gaming this year. We love The Banner Saga s hand-drawn characters and how they animate on the battlefield, but we especially enjoy the way its detailed, Nordic landscapes parallax as your caravan of warriors and survivors march on. The Austin Wintory score is a cherry on the top.

4 - Kerbal Space Program

40% off: $16.19 / 11.99 - Steam store page

We ve murdered a lot of aliens in games, but only in KSP have we stranded little green guys in planetary orbit due to our grossly incompetent management of a budding space program. The Early Access rocket physics simulator is one of the best games still under development, and already has a large community of engineers sharing stories of harrowing space missions, ship designs, and mods. KSP has even made its way into classrooms.

Read Ian s five-part Kerbal Space Program chronicle to see how he learned rocket-building basics and launched a mission to the M n.

3 - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

50% off: $7.49 / 5.99 - Steam store page

The best competitive FPS on PC owes a lot to its skill-based matchmaking format. At any skill level, five-on-five Counter-Strike narrows the range of tactical choices available to you and the time you have to make them, creating a wonderfully concentrated competitive mode. Otherwise, CS:GO is mainly a vehicle for microtransactions: beware the allure of $400 virtual knives.

2 - Tomb Raider

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Lara Croft returns in a gorgeous action game heavily inspired by Naughty Dog's Uncharted series. This younger, rebooted Lara doesn't have her predecessor's confidence or predilection for interesting puzzles the only tombs in this game are disappointingly short and simple but the shooting is by far the best in the series. Exploring Tomb Raider's island and crafting survival gear is also fun, as Lara is a nimble climber and each area is packed with interesting treasures to hunt down. For a challenge, forgo the assault rifle and grenade launcher for Lara's incredibly satisfying (and silent!) bow.

1 - BioShock Triple Pack

83% off: $10.19 / 6.79 - Steam store page

If you haven t explored the ruins of Rapture, you re in for a treat. BioShock s world is a revelation, an under-the-sea society that s crumbled under its own weight, and exploring what remains of it and shooting its crazy inhabitants in the face with fireballs is a delight. BioShock 2 goes even further, changing your perspective and adding a surprising amount of depth with its own story. Irrational s swansong, BioShock Infinite, may still be polarizing, but Columbia is just as beautiful and terrifying as Rapture, and well worth exploring. All three are included here in a bundle that s too cheap to pass up.

Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.

Bastion (40% off) $8.99 / 6.59

Killing Floor (50% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Mirror's Edge (75% off) $4.99 / 2.49

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition (66% off) $6.79 / 5.09
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
The Steam Summer Sale is nearly halfway over and a number of games have been discounted tremendously, from classic games to more recent releases. However, the list of discount titles have also included offerings from Steam Early Access and that has caused some discussion among game developers.

Some developers fall on the side that involving Early Access games in the Steam Summer Sale is a boon to their efforts. Their product may not yet be complete, but it would help push their game's development forward. Others feel that because the product is incomplete, it should not necessarily be treated like a finished game and that sales should come later. So Shacknews is taking a look at both sides of this discussion with the help of some noteworthy developers in the gaming community that currently have a horse in the Early Access race.
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
It's Memorial Day weekend! We'd like to help celebrate the three-day weekend here on the Chatty Twitch Highlights. So instead of featuring the usual three clips from Shackers, we're going to highlight four clips from some of more best posters/players! And we're going to give warcrow the first chance to lead things off with his playthrough of Wolfenstein: The New Order. That'll be followed by pixelat3d bidding adieu to the WildStar beta, CTH newcomer JynnanTonnyx playing some co-op on Mercenary Kings, and draco sending us into Memorial Day with Kerbal Space Program set to some classical music. Because let's face it, this segment could always use some culture.

Here's a compilation of some of the best Shacknews Twitch highlights for the week of May 24, 2014.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Kerbal Space Program developer announces mod hosting partnership with Curse">Kerbal Space Program

Squad, the developer of the excellent space-flight sim Kerbal Space Program, has just announced that it will partner with Curse.com to set up a new database for its active modding community. The existing website, the Kerbal Spaceport, will no longer be accepting mods, and community members will transfer their work over to the new site.

The functional-but-not-great database at Kerbal Spaceport has been a source of friction in the community, even as it grew and created a lot of great content. Squad told us in December that they were looking for a new home for its modders, but they couldn t confirm anything at the time. Modders have helped make Kerbal Space Program a more open, more rewarding game experience for our players, Squad chief operating officer Adrian Goya wrote in a press release. Curse is an important partner because their team is passionate and experienced in caring for and growing online game communities, such as our amazing playerbase for Kerbal Space Program.

For any PC game that prides itself on a huge, open, explorable world, mods are essential to keeping players coming back and talking about the game. Skyrim is the most famous example of this principle, and it s only working with a single region of one continent. With the entire universe at its disposal, Kerbal Space Program has that much more room for great community content.
Announcement - Valve
Save 40% on Kerbal Space Program during this week's Midweek Madness*!

Kerbal Space Program is a multi-genre game where players create their own space program.

In KSP, you must build space-worthy craft, capable of flying your crew out into space, without killing them. At your disposal is a collection of parts, which must be assembled to create a functional ship. Each part has its own function and will affect the way a ship flies (or doesn't). So strap yourself in, and get ready to try some Rocket Science!

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time
Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia
Since tomorrow is Star Wars Day, it's only appropriate that we celebrate the occasion with this week's Twitch highlights. Chatty's draco is here to get you in the mood with a playthrough of Star Wars: The Old Republic. Meanwhile, Mercfox1 ventures into another part of space with Kerbal Space Program and jeffmoeller grabs a partner for some co-op Dark Souls 2. There's so much Twitch fun this week that even the staff decided to get in on the action with a special bonus clip.

Here's a compilation of some of the best Shacknews Twitch highlights for the week of May 3, 2014.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Show Us Your Rig: Kerbal Space Program’s Felipe Falanghe">felipe-hed-top

Squad's Felipe Falanghe is the creator and lead developer of Kerbal Space Program, and his work space feels a lot like a command module in a rocket soaring to Mun. When he's not busy developing one of PC gaming's most delightful simulators, he's using a gigantic array of peripherals to play games. Felipe was kind enough to take a few moments away from firing Kerbals into space to tell us about his setup.

What's in your PC?

On the inside, my current PC specs consist of an Intel Core i7 3820 CPU, 32 GB DDR3 RAM, a GeForce GTX 690 GPU, a Samsung 840Pro 512GB SSD, a 2TB 7200 rpm HD, a 1kW PSU, all aboard a CM Storm Trooper Case.

What's the most interesting part of your setup?

I have to say, I love my peripherals. I have a thing for human interface devices, and I ve been collecting them since I had my first PC. As for a favorite, I really had to think about that for a while but if I had to pick one thing, that would have to be my Matrox TripleHead2Go and the 3 screens.

What's on your desk?

On the "main deck," we have a Logitech X550 5.1 Surround System, Another 1TB Toshiba external drive, a G19s Keyboard, 3DConnexion s SpaceMouse and SpaceNavigator, RAT 7 Mouse, F350 Gamepad, the Saitek X52 Pro, a 4-port USB Hub, TrackIR 5, MS VX1000 webcam, and the monitors, 2 LG 1920h LCDs (left and right), and an LH E1910 at the center. The three used to be the same model, but one of them sadly burned out a while back. On the "lower deck," I have a Logitech G13 and a Razer Nostromo, plus my trusty Wacom Intuos 3 Tablet. Under the desk, sit the ProFlight Rudder Pedals and the pedal set for the Driving Force GT Wheel. The wheel itself takes the desktop front and center when it s time to drive, and the right rudder pedal doubles as a clutch pedal. For flying, the Saitek X52 Pro takes center stage.

What are you playing right now?

I really haven t had much time to play much at all in these last few months I did manage to get a few hours in on Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag these last couple of days, and before that, I was playing Just Cause 2, Skyrim some indies as well, like Papers, Please and The Stanley Parable. And DayZ, lots of DayZ.

What's your favorite game and why?

Now that is a properly hard question I m very picky about games, because I usually dedicate a lot of time on a single title, so I definitely have a few favorites of recent times, DayZ being one, but I ve always been a big fan of all of Bohemia s Arma series all the way back to the original Operation Flashpoint.

An all time favorite though, that s very hard to pick I do have a few which have stuck with me since I was little, some of which I still get around to playing every now and then, on emulators or VMs. I think Fragile Allegiance, from 1995, has to be my favorite strategy game. I was playing it again just a few weeks ago on my laptop, running DOSBox. For RTS, I would say Total Annihilation. For flight sims, Microsoft s Flight Simulator series, definitely. I ve had all of them since MSFS 4.1, which came on a single 3.5 floppy, all the way through FSX. I couldn t leave out Orbiter either. I ve been an Orbiter fan ever since I first played it back in the early 2000 s.

I have a few console favorites too, although you can probably tell from those pictures I m not a console gamer most of the time. My favorites are from the N64 era. Of all those, I would put GoldenEye 007 at the very top. I actually never owned it, I used to rent it at Blockbuster pretty much every weekend, and I got so many hours into it, I have some of the levels forever burned into my brain, to the point I could map it out by memory. And of course, I couldn t not mention SimCity 2000, 3000 and 4, and The Sims as well.

I know this is hardly a definitive answer, but these games were the worlds I would live in when I was a kid, then through my teenage years and college days, so they ve all influenced me as a game designer now, and I still refer to them as my role models for fun and immersive games.


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