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Found 132 results

  1. Technology develops at a rapid pace, but sometimes it can be hard to appreciate just how quickly things can move. This can be easily seen in the history of hard drive growth. Weighing in at a monstrous 550 pounds, IBM created the first 1 gigabyte hard drive in 1980. Less than a year ago, Sony worked with IBM to develop a magnetic storage system that can save up to 330 terabytes—330,000 times the storage capacity of that fridge-sized device in the palm of your hand. That’s also 330,000 times the amount of data being stored—data that can be obtained in a large-scale data breach. To keep pace with the escalating need to secure that data, cybersecurity has grown from a practically unheard-of industry in the 1980s into a multibillion dollar industry, ballooning in size from $3.5 billion in 2004 to over $120 billion in 2017. The cybersecurity industry develops alongside the wider tech world to meet its ever-evolving needs. Increasingly, recruitment has become one of the biggest problems facing the industry. It’s not necessarily an issue of budgeting or technical infrastructure, though both of those can become concerns. The Black Hat conference, a yearly gathering of cybersecurity specialists, has routinely ranked the inability to bring in new talent as the number one reason digital security measures fail and an overwhelming majority of conference attendees felt as if they lacked the means to refine their abilities. In other words, cybersecurity has emerged as a technological necessity so quickly that many programmers, both inside and outside the field, feel that they lack access to the skills required to compete. One of the most unexpected solutions to the pressing question of recruiting promising cybersecurity talent has been the turn toward video games. McAfee conducted a recent survey of 300 senior security managers and 650 security professionals from across a wide variety of major corporations. Of that pool of 950 cybersecurity experts, 92% believed that skills fostered by games, such as tenacity, logic, and predicting hostile strategies, could make the gaming community an ideal, untapped reservoir of candidates. Why, exactly, do these professionals believe gamers make such attractive candidates for cybersecurity positions? Michael McKeirnan, a Security Consultant at Deja vu Security, offered an explanation, translating the industry’s unexpected assessment. “To me, the skills developed by gaming could be arguably summarized as practice obsessing over digital problems. I think anyone who has seen both a hacker and a gamer obsessing over something can immediately understand the relationship. That ability to completely lose yourself in the problem is a valuable skill in the industry—partially because of the work ethic that comes from that obsession, and partially because of the comprehensive knowledge that type of person usually has in their domain.” When it comes to skills, there seemed to be some degree of overlap, a similar line of thinking that gives a certain type of gamer a mindset with many applications in cybersecurity. “I'm personally not much of a gamer,” said McKeirnan, “but in my experience there's a small, intangible reward for every goal reached, or level cleared; the same can be said of finding bugs in code. That similarity means that the mindset transfers pretty fluidly from gaming to hacking.” When asked specifically about the McAfee survey, McKeirnan found himself split on the issue. There are compelling arguments to be made on behalf of gamers, but the mindset and skills many cite as making gamers good candidates for cybersecurity aren’t necessarily unique to gamers. “With regard to the survey question, I certainly agree that the two have many similarities and that a certain type of gamer may make an excellent computer security engineer, but I'm not sure I'd buy in to the degree of hiring a gamer with no security training or experience,” he explained. He went on to describe what Deja seeks out in their hiring process, saying, “During our interviews, one of the qualities we look for is the ‘attacker mindset.’ The goal is to find that dogged problem-solving, goal-oriented mentality that we believe makes excellent hackers. In my experience, this mentality is shared by many excellent gamers; but I think that it's certainly possible to be a gamer and not have that mindset, and to have that mindset but not be overly excited about video games. As such, I'd say the candidate's drive and interest in our field, coupled with that attacker mindset, is much more important to me.” However, despite any reservations regarding gamers, senior managers at cybersecurity firms across the industry find themselves turning to more drastic measures to fill their short-term needs. The McAfee survey found that 75% of senior managers at cybersecurity firms reported that they would hire a gamer with no experience in the field and train them internally just to meet their projected short-term needs. The talent shortage in cybersecurity poses a large, persistent, and growing problem for both private and public interests in the long-term. Luckily for those managers, there’s no shortage of people who play video games. The medium has become the most popular form of entertainment on the planet, grossing record-breaking profits year after year. In 2016, 1.8 billion people played video games to some extent, a number that’s only expected to go up as technological infrastructure spreads around the world and the population increases. Having identified a large and growing field of potential talent, tech firms have been puzzling over how to break into gaming to snag some of the most qualified candidates. Offering bug bounties to anyone who can find an exploit that leaves sensitive information vulnerable stands as one of the oldest and most generalized approaches to digital security. While it certainly works to fill in unknown vulnerabilities, the process is often too vague to engage anyone outside of a niche community of hackers or enthusiasts and doesn’t cast a wide enough net to recruit talent to the company itself. Not to mention there are emerging concerns over the uncontrolled nature of such programs that can alert those outside of proper communication channels that data breaches have occurred. Framing cybersecurity as an evolving puzzle can change public perception of the industry, gamifying it in the eyes of future professionals. Meeting that changed perspective with competitive initiatives can create a game-like atmosphere around the industry. The most popular of these competitions are Capture the Flag (CTF) events. These trials test the ability of participants across a wide range of skills relevant in the security industry. Often these competitions are sponsored by companies like Uber, Walmart, Raytheon, Snapchat, Amazon, or IBM, and are used to recruit promising talent. The two most popular formats of CTF are called jeopardy and attack-defend. Jeopardy presents teams with several categories of challenges that require technical answers to problems facing areas such as cryptography, hacking, forensics, networking, and programming. Attack-defend challenges pit two or more teams against each other to use any means necessary to take and maintain control of an isolated network of computers. Competitive CTF events can be found throughout the industry, with notable examples like the US Cyber Challenge, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, or at larger tech meetings like Google’s Chromium Conference. Those who rise to the top of these competitions become highly sought after by the companies who watch them intently. Rather than a job interview, excelling at a major competition can prove to be a method of entering the industry for those who find it engaging. “[The founders of Deja] were on a team that won the DEFCON CTF several times and subsequently ran that competition for a number of years afterwards,” Deja vu Security’s McKeirnan explained when asked about these competitions. “We love to talk about CTFs and CTF problems with our candidates, but we also sympathize with people who aren't overly fond of them. Some CTFs have a few ‘guess what's in my pocket’-type problems that can really rub some bright folks the wrong way.” Thankfully, the competitive space has become more varied with time. More variations on the traditional CTF types appear frequently and McKeirnan offered that a more equitable type of challenge could be found in wargame simulations. “There are some public wargames and challenge sets that we really like, and we love to chat with candidates about how they solved these problems and what they learned by doing them.” McKeirnan’s two favorite wargames of note are The Matasano Crypto Pals published by Matasano Security and the Over the Wire problems. “These types of wargames don't generally have a leaderboard or anything, but most people in the industry are familiar with them and they're a great way for folks to show some serious initiative and play some games at the same time.” While those exercises aren’t flashy and won’t win prestige in a public setting, they will teach valuable skills in a gamified format that will leave potential employers in cybersecurity eager to hire. While these initiatives are often aimed toward adults, some competitions are designed to educate the ever more technologically literate youth and offer scholarships to talented youngsters who excel. Programs like the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot aim to make cybersecurity problem-solving fun for kids grades K-12. Introducing the next generation to a world of competitions is framed as a long-term investment by the public and private interests sponsoring these initiatives. They seek to secure a steady stream of talent for years to come. The creative solutions to reach gamers have taken many forms over the last few years. Information security companies often make use of low-tech games that are meant to demonstrate skills such as codebreaking. Deja vu Security, for example, makes use of cards printed with different bite-sized challenges. McKeirnan explained that “puzzles like the cards are somewhat common in the industry, though certainly not ubiquitous. They provide excellent signals about how motivated and skilled candidates are before they even show up to an interview. Typically, if a candidate has completed or made significant progress through a challenge, they're an excellent fit.” These pocket-sized challenges can be easily distributed, and they offer a wide range of puzzles from simple codebreaking to deciphering elliptic curve cryptography. This makes them ideal for identifying competitive candidates in the wild at job fairs, though they aren’t the only options available. “Lately we've using an in-person ‘find the bug’ challenge instead [of the cards]. For that one, we post a sample of code at the booth with some known security vulnerabilities and direct anyone who's interested to ‘find the bug.’ This one is a big hit at career fairs.” McKeirnan said. “We consistently have crowds [of people] blocking off the whole area, just staring at the code until they think they've figured it out. Even recruiters from other companies usually come over near the end of the event to try and give it a go. We really like that type of challenge because it gives us a chance to talk over the problem with our potential candidates; we can see how they're thinking, and get to know them a bit better before we've even added their resume to the pile. Better still, many folks who wouldn't have submitted their answer online will come talk to us about it because we're right there.” This type of approach brings in new types of people with gamified challenges, though it operates on a small scale. Larger solutions loom on the horizon. If it’s difficult to train people up to dealing with the current level of complex technology, maybe it is possible to streamline complicated cybersecurity functions down to meet new talent on their own level with a game-like setting. In an announcement issued earlier this year, McAfee’s Chief Information Security Officer Grant Bourzikas stated, “With cybersecurity breaches being the norm for organizations, we have to create a workplace that empowers cybersecurity responders to do their best work. […] Keeping our workforce engaged, educated, and satisfied at work is critical to ensuring organizations do not increase complexity in the already high-stakes game against cybercrime.” Bourzikas makes a good point about streamlining the protection process on all fronts, and that includes recruitment. ProtectWise CEO Scott Chasin builds on that idea with the assumption that attracting new talent will be easier with a less daunting interface that feels more intuitive. What better way to do that than with a gamified digital environment to make the positions more attractive? To that end, Chasin’s company developed a tool called ProtectWise Grid, a UI overlay that creates a virtual city within which all devices connected to a given network appear. The software represents each device as a building that varies in size and shape depending on the kind of device, connection, and amount of data being used. Chasin believes his software holds at least part of the key to solving the cybersecurity shortage facing the industry by using a game-like model to lower the skill level necessary to enter the industry. The goal of the technology is to meet incoming talent in a manner they intuitively understand, skipping a lot of the technical know-how that traditional candidates require currently. "Level one analysts today require very advanced skillsets. In a UI like this, we can remove that," Chasin said. Given the ubiquity of gaming in the tech world, this could be a great help in bringing in entry level candidates. Of course, those who move up to leadership positions in cybersecurity will really have to know their stuff, but as Chasin notes, “You don't have to be a pilot to fly a drone.” By 2019, some organizations like Symantec, ISACA, and Cybersecurity Ventures predict a global shortage of over two million digital security specialists. However, the numerous gamified solutions to the ongoing cybersecurity shortage offer hope to those struggling on the frontlines against cybercriminals. An increasing emphasis on gamification techniques, both the tried-and-true methods of companies like Deja vu Security and the seemingly sci-fi solutions on the horizon, might just help us thwart the next big data theft or cyberattack. --- This piece has been cross-posted on the Deja vu Security blog. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. Technology develops at a rapid pace, but sometimes it can be hard to appreciate just how quickly things can move. This can be easily seen in the history of hard drive growth. Weighing in at a monstrous 550 pounds, IBM created the first 1 gigabyte hard drive in 1980. Less than a year ago, Sony worked with IBM to develop a magnetic storage system that can save up to 330 terabytes—330,000 times the storage capacity of that fridge-sized device in the palm of your hand. That’s also 330,000 times the amount of data being stored—data that can be obtained in a large-scale data breach. To keep pace with the escalating need to secure that data, cybersecurity has grown from a practically unheard-of industry in the 1980s into a multibillion dollar industry, ballooning in size from $3.5 billion in 2004 to over $120 billion in 2017. The cybersecurity industry develops alongside the wider tech world to meet its ever-evolving needs. Increasingly, recruitment has become one of the biggest problems facing the industry. It’s not necessarily an issue of budgeting or technical infrastructure, though both of those can become concerns. The Black Hat conference, a yearly gathering of cybersecurity specialists, has routinely ranked the inability to bring in new talent as the number one reason digital security measures fail and an overwhelming majority of conference attendees felt as if they lacked the means to refine their abilities. In other words, cybersecurity has emerged as a technological necessity so quickly that many programmers, both inside and outside the field, feel that they lack access to the skills required to compete. One of the most unexpected solutions to the pressing question of recruiting promising cybersecurity talent has been the turn toward video games. McAfee conducted a recent survey of 300 senior security managers and 650 security professionals from across a wide variety of major corporations. Of that pool of 950 cybersecurity experts, 92% believed that skills fostered by games, such as tenacity, logic, and predicting hostile strategies, could make the gaming community an ideal, untapped reservoir of candidates. Why, exactly, do these professionals believe gamers make such attractive candidates for cybersecurity positions? Michael McKeirnan, a Security Consultant at Deja vu Security, offered an explanation, translating the industry’s unexpected assessment. “To me, the skills developed by gaming could be arguably summarized as practice obsessing over digital problems. I think anyone who has seen both a hacker and a gamer obsessing over something can immediately understand the relationship. That ability to completely lose yourself in the problem is a valuable skill in the industry—partially because of the work ethic that comes from that obsession, and partially because of the comprehensive knowledge that type of person usually has in their domain.” When it comes to skills, there seemed to be some degree of overlap, a similar line of thinking that gives a certain type of gamer a mindset with many applications in cybersecurity. “I'm personally not much of a gamer,” said McKeirnan, “but in my experience there's a small, intangible reward for every goal reached, or level cleared; the same can be said of finding bugs in code. That similarity means that the mindset transfers pretty fluidly from gaming to hacking.” When asked specifically about the McAfee survey, McKeirnan found himself split on the issue. There are compelling arguments to be made on behalf of gamers, but the mindset and skills many cite as making gamers good candidates for cybersecurity aren’t necessarily unique to gamers. “With regard to the survey question, I certainly agree that the two have many similarities and that a certain type of gamer may make an excellent computer security engineer, but I'm not sure I'd buy in to the degree of hiring a gamer with no security training or experience,” he explained. He went on to describe what Deja seeks out in their hiring process, saying, “During our interviews, one of the qualities we look for is the ‘attacker mindset.’ The goal is to find that dogged problem-solving, goal-oriented mentality that we believe makes excellent hackers. In my experience, this mentality is shared by many excellent gamers; but I think that it's certainly possible to be a gamer and not have that mindset, and to have that mindset but not be overly excited about video games. As such, I'd say the candidate's drive and interest in our field, coupled with that attacker mindset, is much more important to me.” However, despite any reservations regarding gamers, senior managers at cybersecurity firms across the industry find themselves turning to more drastic measures to fill their short-term needs. The McAfee survey found that 75% of senior managers at cybersecurity firms reported that they would hire a gamer with no experience in the field and train them internally just to meet their projected short-term needs. The talent shortage in cybersecurity poses a large, persistent, and growing problem for both private and public interests in the long-term. Luckily for those managers, there’s no shortage of people who play video games. The medium has become the most popular form of entertainment on the planet, grossing record-breaking profits year after year. In 2016, 1.8 billion people played video games to some extent, a number that’s only expected to go up as technological infrastructure spreads around the world and the population increases. Having identified a large and growing field of potential talent, tech firms have been puzzling over how to break into gaming to snag some of the most qualified candidates. Offering bug bounties to anyone who can find an exploit that leaves sensitive information vulnerable stands as one of the oldest and most generalized approaches to digital security. While it certainly works to fill in unknown vulnerabilities, the process is often too vague to engage anyone outside of a niche community of hackers or enthusiasts and doesn’t cast a wide enough net to recruit talent to the company itself. Not to mention there are emerging concerns over the uncontrolled nature of such programs that can alert those outside of proper communication channels that data breaches have occurred. Framing cybersecurity as an evolving puzzle can change public perception of the industry, gamifying it in the eyes of future professionals. Meeting that changed perspective with competitive initiatives can create a game-like atmosphere around the industry. The most popular of these competitions are Capture the Flag (CTF) events. These trials test the ability of participants across a wide range of skills relevant in the security industry. Often these competitions are sponsored by companies like Uber, Walmart, Raytheon, Snapchat, Amazon, or IBM, and are used to recruit promising talent. The two most popular formats of CTF are called jeopardy and attack-defend. Jeopardy presents teams with several categories of challenges that require technical answers to problems facing areas such as cryptography, hacking, forensics, networking, and programming. Attack-defend challenges pit two or more teams against each other to use any means necessary to take and maintain control of an isolated network of computers. Competitive CTF events can be found throughout the industry, with notable examples like the US Cyber Challenge, the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, or at larger tech meetings like Google’s Chromium Conference. Those who rise to the top of these competitions become highly sought after by the companies who watch them intently. Rather than a job interview, excelling at a major competition can prove to be a method of entering the industry for those who find it engaging. “[The founders of Deja] were on a team that won the DEFCON CTF several times and subsequently ran that competition for a number of years afterwards,” Deja vu Security’s McKeirnan explained when asked about these competitions. “We love to talk about CTFs and CTF problems with our candidates, but we also sympathize with people who aren't overly fond of them. Some CTFs have a few ‘guess what's in my pocket’-type problems that can really rub some bright folks the wrong way.” Thankfully, the competitive space has become more varied with time. More variations on the traditional CTF types appear frequently and McKeirnan offered that a more equitable type of challenge could be found in wargame simulations. “There are some public wargames and challenge sets that we really like, and we love to chat with candidates about how they solved these problems and what they learned by doing them.” McKeirnan’s two favorite wargames of note are The Matasano Crypto Pals published by Matasano Security and the Over the Wire problems. “These types of wargames don't generally have a leaderboard or anything, but most people in the industry are familiar with them and they're a great way for folks to show some serious initiative and play some games at the same time.” While those exercises aren’t flashy and won’t win prestige in a public setting, they will teach valuable skills in a gamified format that will leave potential employers in cybersecurity eager to hire. While these initiatives are often aimed toward adults, some competitions are designed to educate the ever more technologically literate youth and offer scholarships to talented youngsters who excel. Programs like the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot aim to make cybersecurity problem-solving fun for kids grades K-12. Introducing the next generation to a world of competitions is framed as a long-term investment by the public and private interests sponsoring these initiatives. They seek to secure a steady stream of talent for years to come. The creative solutions to reach gamers have taken many forms over the last few years. Information security companies often make use of low-tech games that are meant to demonstrate skills such as codebreaking. Deja vu Security, for example, makes use of cards printed with different bite-sized challenges. McKeirnan explained that “puzzles like the cards are somewhat common in the industry, though certainly not ubiquitous. They provide excellent signals about how motivated and skilled candidates are before they even show up to an interview. Typically, if a candidate has completed or made significant progress through a challenge, they're an excellent fit.” These pocket-sized challenges can be easily distributed, and they offer a wide range of puzzles from simple codebreaking to deciphering elliptic curve cryptography. This makes them ideal for identifying competitive candidates in the wild at job fairs, though they aren’t the only options available. “Lately we've using an in-person ‘find the bug’ challenge instead [of the cards]. For that one, we post a sample of code at the booth with some known security vulnerabilities and direct anyone who's interested to ‘find the bug.’ This one is a big hit at career fairs.” McKeirnan said. “We consistently have crowds [of people] blocking off the whole area, just staring at the code until they think they've figured it out. Even recruiters from other companies usually come over near the end of the event to try and give it a go. We really like that type of challenge because it gives us a chance to talk over the problem with our potential candidates; we can see how they're thinking, and get to know them a bit better before we've even added their resume to the pile. Better still, many folks who wouldn't have submitted their answer online will come talk to us about it because we're right there.” This type of approach brings in new types of people with gamified challenges, though it operates on a small scale. Larger solutions loom on the horizon. If it’s difficult to train people up to dealing with the current level of complex technology, maybe it is possible to streamline complicated cybersecurity functions down to meet new talent on their own level with a game-like setting. In an announcement issued earlier this year, McAfee’s Chief Information Security Officer Grant Bourzikas stated, “With cybersecurity breaches being the norm for organizations, we have to create a workplace that empowers cybersecurity responders to do their best work. […] Keeping our workforce engaged, educated, and satisfied at work is critical to ensuring organizations do not increase complexity in the already high-stakes game against cybercrime.” Bourzikas makes a good point about streamlining the protection process on all fronts, and that includes recruitment. ProtectWise CEO Scott Chasin builds on that idea with the assumption that attracting new talent will be easier with a less daunting interface that feels more intuitive. What better way to do that than with a gamified digital environment to make the positions more attractive? To that end, Chasin’s company developed a tool called ProtectWise Grid, a UI overlay that creates a virtual city within which all devices connected to a given network appear. The software represents each device as a building that varies in size and shape depending on the kind of device, connection, and amount of data being used. Chasin believes his software holds at least part of the key to solving the cybersecurity shortage facing the industry by using a game-like model to lower the skill level necessary to enter the industry. The goal of the technology is to meet incoming talent in a manner they intuitively understand, skipping a lot of the technical know-how that traditional candidates require currently. "Level one analysts today require very advanced skillsets. In a UI like this, we can remove that," Chasin said. Given the ubiquity of gaming in the tech world, this could be a great help in bringing in entry level candidates. Of course, those who move up to leadership positions in cybersecurity will really have to know their stuff, but as Chasin notes, “You don't have to be a pilot to fly a drone.” By 2019, some organizations like Symantec, ISACA, and Cybersecurity Ventures predict a global shortage of over two million digital security specialists. However, the numerous gamified solutions to the ongoing cybersecurity shortage offer hope to those struggling on the frontlines against cybercriminals. An increasing emphasis on gamification techniques, both the tried-and-true methods of companies like Deja vu Security and the seemingly sci-fi solutions on the horizon, might just help us thwart the next big data theft or cyberattack. --- This piece has been cross-posted on the Deja vu Security blog. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. Timothy Bumpus

    Fight for Your Life Tournament

    until
    The first ever "Fight for Your Life" Tournament Come on over to the Microsoft Store in Destiny USA for a day of competing in one or all of a slew of fighting games. Tournaments will be held in five different fighting games: DBZFIGHTERZ, KI, Injustice, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, and Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown. Complete in any of them, one of them, all of them, or not at all! Players of all skill levels are welcome, our goal is to have fun and raise some money for Upstate Golisano Children's Hospital. $10 DONATION is asked to participate, we will also have a Surface Pro with a link to donate(all tax deductable) Check out the event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/567201947051967/
  4. With the words, "Piracy Is Dead, Long Live Piracy," Justin Farren, the creative director of Skull and Bones, put pirating back into the limelight at E3. The world has changed and piracy in the west has been all but shut down. The east, however, still presents intrepid pirate captains with opportunities. Skull and Bones puts players at the helm of a pirate ship sailing the Indian Ocean, turning it into one wide open hunting ground. Will you be the one who climbs the ranks of the infamous and bloodthirsty to be remembered as one of the most successful pirates of all-time? The central premise of Skull and Bones seems hard to pin down, aside from all of the pirating of course. Players sail the seas in search of treasure and adventure. By various means, players can uncover clues or tips that hint at locations of interest where treasure might be or the route of a vessel worth plundering. Be warned, however. The seas are also home to other players who are also on the hunt for gold and glory. This, I believe, is the central tension around which Skull and Bones has built its gameplay. When players will encounter one another on the high seas - will they ally to take on bigger missions or will they start a fight to the death for one another's booty? Seeing some gameplay helped to give the game a bit more substance. Players will be able to disguise their ships and essentially enter stealth mode by flying the colors of friendly vessels. This will give the advantage of surprise to wily captains or be necessary to sneak by imposing, land-based fortifications. Each ship can be outfitted with a variety of equipment for aesthetic or functional purposes. Some examples include anti-boarding armor, a variety of cannons, and even a ship-based battering ram. Attacking weak trading ships will alert nearby warships that will attempt to corner players and sink them to reclaim stolen property. The largest of these will require the assistance of several players to fight off successfully. Different ships have different special abilities, which will make cooperation all the more important if players wish to survive.... it will also make backstabbing after cooperation has ended more appealing to the more mischievous out there. Skull and Bones will release sometime in 2019. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  5. With the words, "Piracy Is Dead, Long Live Piracy," Justin Farren, the creative director of Skull and Bones, put pirating back into the limelight at E3. The world has changed and piracy in the west has been all but shut down. The east, however, still presents intrepid pirate captains with opportunities. Skull and Bones puts players at the helm of a pirate ship sailing the Indian Ocean, turning it into one wide open hunting ground. Will you be the one who climbs the ranks of the infamous and bloodthirsty to be remembered as one of the most successful pirates of all-time? The central premise of Skull and Bones seems hard to pin down, aside from all of the pirating of course. Players sail the seas in search of treasure and adventure. By various means, players can uncover clues or tips that hint at locations of interest where treasure might be or the route of a vessel worth plundering. Be warned, however. The seas are also home to other players who are also on the hunt for gold and glory. This, I believe, is the central tension around which Skull and Bones has built its gameplay. When players will encounter one another on the high seas - will they ally to take on bigger missions or will they start a fight to the death for one another's booty? Seeing some gameplay helped to give the game a bit more substance. Players will be able to disguise their ships and essentially enter stealth mode by flying the colors of friendly vessels. This will give the advantage of surprise to wily captains or be necessary to sneak by imposing, land-based fortifications. Each ship can be outfitted with a variety of equipment for aesthetic or functional purposes. Some examples include anti-boarding armor, a variety of cannons, and even a ship-based battering ram. Attacking weak trading ships will alert nearby warships that will attempt to corner players and sink them to reclaim stolen property. The largest of these will require the assistance of several players to fight off successfully. Different ships have different special abilities, which will make cooperation all the more important if players wish to survive.... it will also make backstabbing after cooperation has ended more appealing to the more mischievous out there. Skull and Bones will release sometime in 2019. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. Lydia

    Extra Life Checkpoint Tennessee

    until
    Extra Life members from the major metro Tennessee cities (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Jackson, Memphis and Nashville) are uniting to educate their communities about Extra Life and their local Children's Miracle Network at this 12 hour gaming marathon event!The Nashville guild will be hosting their event at the Nashville Technology Council with games, giveaways, tournaments, and fundraising to benefit the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.Bring your own computer, console or even board games! Nothing is off limits! Come for 2 hours, 8 hours, or the full 12 hours, anyone and everyone is welcome!Can't make the event? Live stream from the comfort of your home and encourage your family and friends to donate! Admission is free but registration on extra-life.org is required to enter!
  7. Every year since 2011, Sega-Addicts.com has done a Dreamcast Dreamless 24-Hour Marathon. From 2015 forward I have taken the reigns and hosted it from my home with staff members and friends joining. Most recently we learned about Extra Life and thought the Marathon was a great chance to raise some money! Collectively over the last two years we have raised over $1,500 for a local children's hospital! And now we are inviting all of you to join us on the internet to raise money for kids while enjoying Sega's last great console on 09/01/2018. This year, we are hosting from the Mega Visions Magazine Twitch page and more ready than ever to tackle some Dreamcast insanity to help the kids! You can check out last year's marathon on YouTube here. Stay tuned for the final schedule in the coming months! We also have a Reddit topic for game recommendations here! Now the die-hard Dreamcast fans will immediately notice we are not celebrating on the actual anniversary (09/09/99) of the console. We are celebrating on Labor Day weekend to allow easier travel for the out-of-towners. We hope you understand and decided to join the insanity on Twitch! Thanks for taking a look, folks. If you feel like helping out, you can print the flyer from the group page and share to all!
  8. stodd.ELBoston

    Anime Boston 2018

    until
    Anime Boston ***Schedule Subject to Change*** Schedule for Anime Boston FRI Manager @stodd.ELBoston 11-6 PM @The Guat 11-6 PM @Anino 11-6 PM @alleenc 11-6 PM @Serolis SAT Manager @aradiadarling 9-2 David DiMare Messier 9-2 @alleenc 9-2 @DMo2TheMax 9-2 @Robop1g 1-6 @Serolis 1-6 @SassyJ 1-6 Taylor 1-6 @KriptiKFate 1-6 @FobWatch00 1-6 @JustSkoink SUN Manager @aradiadarling 9-2 @SassyJ 9-2 Taylor 9-2 @Serolis 9-2 @DMo2TheMax 1-6 @KriptiKFate 1-6 @thats_spinach 1-6 @Zander207 1-6 @EdFries
  9. stodd.ELBoston

    Boston Southcoast Comic Con

    until
    https://www.necomiccon.net/ Schedule for Boston Southcoast Comic Con SAT 9-2 Shawn Todd 9-2 Angela DiMare-Messier @aradiadarling 1-6 David DiMare-Messier 1-6 Greg Harris- Jones @Serolis/Amelia Ott SUN 9-2 Shawn Todd 9-2 Angela DiMare-Messier (Tentative) 1-6 1-6
  10. until
    Hey folks, Due to the hurricane, we have moved our meeting from 9/12 to 9/19 at Gods & Monsters at 6pm. Hope to see you all there!
  11. This is Quill. She's the protagonist of an upcoming VR title called Moss and has enraptured thousands of gamers across the United States. How did she achieve that feat? Simple. She introduced herself - in American Sign Language. Last week, Polyarc animator Richard Lico made a routine tweet about his work bringing Quill to life. He'd had a bit of inspiration and decided that the voiceless mouse might be able to use sign language to communicate. "Since she can only squeak, I figured I'd play around with ways she can communicate with the player. Also a great perk for our deaf players," he tweeted. Seeing an endearing mouse using American Sign Language in a video game understandably caught a lot of attention, snagging tens of thousands of likes on social media. "Quill often needs to communicate with her guide, [the player], and I'm exploring ways in which she can do so. I came up with the idea of using ASL in conjunction with her existing pantomime methods, and wanted to test the idea," explained Lico in a short video posted the next day. "I had never animated sign language before, so I did some homework, and created this as a test example of what she could do in game. The response has been positive, and we're super excited about the opportunity to help support those who rely on ASL." In Moss, players take on the role of a spirit guide for Quill as she embarks on a heroic journey. The plan for Quill was always to have her communicate wordlessly with the player. She would use squeaks and broad pantomiming motions to get her points across. However, the strong reaction from the gaming community toward Lico's animation seems to have cemented the use of various ASL signs in Moss. “Sometimes she’ll pantomime if there’s not a good sign for it, and other times she’ll flat-out sign language what she wants you to know. This tweet really confirmed that we should do this,” Lico elaborated to Kotaku. “I’ve been blown away by the responses. Especially the ones where you get actual deaf people saying ‘Thank you.’ I just had no idea, being able to emotionally connect with something like that.” While this might seem like a small thing, sign language has largely been absent from video games. In fact, searching for any other results for sign language in games only turns up results for games that help people learn sign language, a barren Reddit thread from 2016 that mentions how some sign language is used in the background of Fullbright Company's Tacoma, and articles about Quill. There was some buzz way back in 2009 that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 would include a deaf character and sign-language, but... well... it's a Half-Life game and Valve, so we might not be seeing that any time soon. It's pretty incredible that Quill might just be the first video game character to communicate with predominantly via sign language in video game history. Moss is set to release sometime this winter for PlayStation VR. View full article
  12. This is Quill. She's the protagonist of an upcoming VR title called Moss and has enraptured thousands of gamers across the United States. How did she achieve that feat? Simple. She introduced herself - in American Sign Language. Last week, Polyarc animator Richard Lico made a routine tweet about his work bringing Quill to life. He'd had a bit of inspiration and decided that the voiceless mouse might be able to use sign language to communicate. "Since she can only squeak, I figured I'd play around with ways she can communicate with the player. Also a great perk for our deaf players," he tweeted. Seeing an endearing mouse using American Sign Language in a video game understandably caught a lot of attention, snagging tens of thousands of likes on social media. "Quill often needs to communicate with her guide, [the player], and I'm exploring ways in which she can do so. I came up with the idea of using ASL in conjunction with her existing pantomime methods, and wanted to test the idea," explained Lico in a short video posted the next day. "I had never animated sign language before, so I did some homework, and created this as a test example of what she could do in game. The response has been positive, and we're super excited about the opportunity to help support those who rely on ASL." In Moss, players take on the role of a spirit guide for Quill as she embarks on a heroic journey. The plan for Quill was always to have her communicate wordlessly with the player. She would use squeaks and broad pantomiming motions to get her points across. However, the strong reaction from the gaming community toward Lico's animation seems to have cemented the use of various ASL signs in Moss. “Sometimes she’ll pantomime if there’s not a good sign for it, and other times she’ll flat-out sign language what she wants you to know. This tweet really confirmed that we should do this,” Lico elaborated to Kotaku. “I’ve been blown away by the responses. Especially the ones where you get actual deaf people saying ‘Thank you.’ I just had no idea, being able to emotionally connect with something like that.” While this might seem like a small thing, sign language has largely been absent from video games. In fact, searching for any other results for sign language in games only turns up results for games that help people learn sign language, a barren Reddit thread from 2016 that mentions how some sign language is used in the background of Fullbright Company's Tacoma, and articles about Quill. There was some buzz way back in 2009 that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 would include a deaf character and sign-language, but... well... it's a Half-Life game and Valve, so we might not be seeing that any time soon. It's pretty incredible that Quill might just be the first video game character to communicate with predominantly via sign language in video game history. Moss is set to release sometime this winter for PlayStation VR.
  13. stodd.ELBoston

    Walker Stalker Boston 8/19-20th

    Walker Stalker Con Calendar Event Schedule is up and ready for volunteers for Walker Stalker Aug 19th and 20th. 2 shifts per day 9 AM - 2 PM 1 PM - 6 PM
  14. Gameumentary is a gaming website that has been gaining some traction in recent months, but it really made a splash with the release of its first short documentary on the history of Runic Games. Their first foray into the world of video game documentaries is really impressive - and free! Their documentary keeps things brief, but to the point over the course of its 27-minute runtime. Gameumentary's mission statement tells the world that their goal is "to create a website that tackled modern games journalism from a new perspective, one that was wholly unique from what any other site was doing. We’re making a conscious choice to give our readers something entirely different than what they’re used to seeing." To that end, their Runic Games documentary focuses on the story of how Marsh Lefler managed to keep his team together after the collapse of Flagship Studios and create Torchlight. The aftermath of how Torchlight sold and what the studio did after that are equally fascinating. The documentary also heavily features gameplay and information about the studio's upcoming title Hob. Hob is an homage to The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, and many others. It focuses on the adventures of a strange protagonist with a mechanical arm as it explores a strange world populated by bizarre and endearing creatures that exist alongside occult machinery. The documentary delves into the nitty gritty of game development like the art direction, sound design, and gameplay creation. This is the stuff that's rarely pushed out into the gaming world, so check it out if you have time. I heartily recommend it if you have a half-hour to spare. You can watch the documentary in its entirety below. While no release date has been given for Hob, the title will be hitting the PlayStation 4 and PC.
  15. Gameumentary is a gaming website that has been gaining some traction in recent months, but it really made a splash with the release of its first short documentary on the history of Runic Games. Their first foray into the world of video game documentaries is really impressive - and free! Their documentary keeps things brief, but to the point over the course of its 27-minute runtime. Gameumentary's mission statement tells the world that their goal is "to create a website that tackled modern games journalism from a new perspective, one that was wholly unique from what any other site was doing. We’re making a conscious choice to give our readers something entirely different than what they’re used to seeing." To that end, their Runic Games documentary focuses on the story of how Marsh Lefler managed to keep his team together after the collapse of Flagship Studios and create Torchlight. The aftermath of how Torchlight sold and what the studio did after that are equally fascinating. The documentary also heavily features gameplay and information about the studio's upcoming title Hob. Hob is an homage to The Legend of Zelda, Shadow of the Colossus, Journey, and many others. It focuses on the adventures of a strange protagonist with a mechanical arm as it explores a strange world populated by bizarre and endearing creatures that exist alongside occult machinery. The documentary delves into the nitty gritty of game development like the art direction, sound design, and gameplay creation. This is the stuff that's rarely pushed out into the gaming world, so check it out if you have time. I heartily recommend it if you have a half-hour to spare. You can watch the documentary in its entirety below. While no release date has been given for Hob, the title will be hitting the PlayStation 4 and PC. View full article
  16. stodd.ELBoston

    International Tabletop Day

    until
    International Tabletop Day at Midgard Comics
  17. Extra Credits is an excellent YouTube channel run by people who work in the video game industry and like to share their knowledge and opinions with the wider world in concise, well-made videos. One of their series, Extra Frame, delves into the various facets of video game animation. In a recent episode, animator Daniel Floyd explains in great detail what might have gone wrong with Mass Effect: Andromeda's animation that led to such large public outcry against the facial animations, lip sync, and the recently patched eye issues. The veteran animator made it clear that the issue isn't just "bad animation is bad, make it better." Rather, it is a multifacted issue with a number of possible contributing factors - the failure of any one aspect could bring the rest crumbling down and lead to a visual mess. Floyd stresses that players must understand that animation can be done very differently in the video game business. Games like the Uncharted series often custom animate everything from the ground up, but they can do those bespoke animations because they only have to animate about 8 hours of total scenes or interactions. A project like Mass Effect can have upwards of 40 hours of animation to be done, and when you are on a schedule tackling that much work on a custom level becomes impossible. The demands of large-scale RPGs that requires animation that accounts for different player choices results in devs turning toward the use of algorithms. Some people in the gaming community have pointed their fingers as the algorithm approach as the culprit behind Andromeda's visual shortcomings, but that's not quite right, either. Many games use this approach to create baseline interactions that they can then further customize later on in the development cycle. Even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt made use of an algorithm to generate many of its more mundane interactions. So if it isn't the system, what exactly caused all the problems in Andromeda? Daniel Floyd speculates that any number of issues might have occurred. It could be bugs affecting the algorithm tags that are supposed to be telling the character models how to act. It could be that compressing the files to fit on a disc or online for release resulted in a garbling the animation data. It also might not have anything to do with the algorithm at all. Mass Effect: Andromeda makes use of EA's Frostbite engine while the previous Mass Effect series was done completely in modified versions of Unreal Engine 3. Switching engines is always a pretty tricky task for any developer. All the assets and systems used in the old engine no longer apply. To create a new Mass Effect in a new engine required BioWare to start from scratch when it came to their assets and animation. Floyd points out that BioWare already had some experience with Frostbite from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but the new engine might still have presented a significant stumbling block for the development team for a Mass Effect game. Floyd takes time to mention Johnathan Cooper, an ex-BioWare animator, who gave a brief analysis of Andromeda's animation kerfuffle. Cooper explains that, essentially, the gaming audience has become more discerning. Gamers have access to easy sharing tools and game capture and are able to share goofs and slip-ups more easily than ever before. That combines with what Cooper believes to be an overly ambitious and overly confident development team that thought they could go back and tune all the animations by hand (which definitely proved not to be the case in the finished product). These problems could have been eliminated or alleviated with more development time, more money, or a more reigned-in scope for Andromeda. The tools are likely all there to have shipped Andromeda with some fantastic animation, but the visition and expectations of the development team would have needed to be different. Floyd closes out the video with a quote we should all keep in mind going forward as a way to reign in our expectations and our anger when something we love doesn't quite turn out to be as great as we'd hoped: "Game development is just like this sometimes. You set out to do a new thing that you've never tried before or you try to do an old thing in a more ambitious, new way. You plan it as best you can. Sometimes it works out great, but other times things go wrong - you run into problems you could have never predicted. Before you know it your plan has gone awry and you have no way to fix it before the deadline and it just sucks." I'd be willing to bet there will be some interesting postmortem interviews on Mass Effect: Andromeda's development released in the coming years. For now, let's enjoy what we have and perhaps coming patches and DLC can bring Andromeda more in line with BioWare's grand vision.
  18. Extra Credits is an excellent YouTube channel run by people who work in the video game industry and like to share their knowledge and opinions with the wider world in concise, well-made videos. One of their series, Extra Frame, delves into the various facets of video game animation. In a recent episode, animator Daniel Floyd explains in great detail what might have gone wrong with Mass Effect: Andromeda's animation that led to such large public outcry against the facial animations, lip sync, and the recently patched eye issues. The veteran animator made it clear that the issue isn't just "bad animation is bad, make it better." Rather, it is a multifacted issue with a number of possible contributing factors - the failure of any one aspect could bring the rest crumbling down and lead to a visual mess. Floyd stresses that players must understand that animation can be done very differently in the video game business. Games like the Uncharted series often custom animate everything from the ground up, but they can do those bespoke animations because they only have to animate about 8 hours of total scenes or interactions. A project like Mass Effect can have upwards of 40 hours of animation to be done, and when you are on a schedule tackling that much work on a custom level becomes impossible. The demands of large-scale RPGs that requires animation that accounts for different player choices results in devs turning toward the use of algorithms. Some people in the gaming community have pointed their fingers as the algorithm approach as the culprit behind Andromeda's visual shortcomings, but that's not quite right, either. Many games use this approach to create baseline interactions that they can then further customize later on in the development cycle. Even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt made use of an algorithm to generate many of its more mundane interactions. So if it isn't the system, what exactly caused all the problems in Andromeda? Daniel Floyd speculates that any number of issues might have occurred. It could be bugs affecting the algorithm tags that are supposed to be telling the character models how to act. It could be that compressing the files to fit on a disc or online for release resulted in a garbling the animation data. It also might not have anything to do with the algorithm at all. Mass Effect: Andromeda makes use of EA's Frostbite engine while the previous Mass Effect series was done completely in modified versions of Unreal Engine 3. Switching engines is always a pretty tricky task for any developer. All the assets and systems used in the old engine no longer apply. To create a new Mass Effect in a new engine required BioWare to start from scratch when it came to their assets and animation. Floyd points out that BioWare already had some experience with Frostbite from Dragon Age: Inquisition, but the new engine might still have presented a significant stumbling block for the development team for a Mass Effect game. Floyd takes time to mention Johnathan Cooper, an ex-BioWare animator, who gave a brief analysis of Andromeda's animation kerfuffle. Cooper explains that, essentially, the gaming audience has become more discerning. Gamers have access to easy sharing tools and game capture and are able to share goofs and slip-ups more easily than ever before. That combines with what Cooper believes to be an overly ambitious and overly confident development team that thought they could go back and tune all the animations by hand (which definitely proved not to be the case in the finished product). These problems could have been eliminated or alleviated with more development time, more money, or a more reigned-in scope for Andromeda. The tools are likely all there to have shipped Andromeda with some fantastic animation, but the visition and expectations of the development team would have needed to be different. Floyd closes out the video with a quote we should all keep in mind going forward as a way to reign in our expectations and our anger when something we love doesn't quite turn out to be as great as we'd hoped: "Game development is just like this sometimes. You set out to do a new thing that you've never tried before or you try to do an old thing in a more ambitious, new way. You plan it as best you can. Sometimes it works out great, but other times things go wrong - you run into problems you could have never predicted. Before you know it your plan has gone awry and you have no way to fix it before the deadline and it just sucks." I'd be willing to bet there will be some interesting postmortem interviews on Mass Effect: Andromeda's development released in the coming years. For now, let's enjoy what we have and perhaps coming patches and DLC can bring Andromeda more in line with BioWare's grand vision. View full article
  19. Hey guys! Our little RVA Guild just keeps growing and growing!!!! I find one of the best ways to get to know someone is by talking about something they like... and since we're all already part of Extra Life... an easy topic is VIDEO GAMES!!! So let's introduce ourselves and give a quick blurb about what our favorite video game is and why!!! To kick things off: My name is Jillian Ryan, I'm the EL RVA Guild President My favorite game of all time (it's hard to pick!) is Chrono Trigger (all variations!). It was the first game to ever make me tear up and the story will stick with me forever! Also amazing music and great graphics!
  20. stodd.ELBoston

    Spring Supermegafest

    until
    DAY/TIME POSITION NAME FRI 3-9 LEADER Angela DiMare @aradiadarling SAT 9-2 LEADER Angela DiMare @aradiadarling SAT 9-2 SUPPORT David DiMare SAT 1-6 LEADER Greg Harris-Jones@Serolis SAT 1-6 SUPPORT Amelia Ott @Oporotheca SUN 9-2 LEADER Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax SUN 9-2 SUPPORT Angela DiMare @aradiadarling SUN 2-6 LEADER Greg Harris-Jones @Serolis SUN 2-6 SUPPORT Amelia Ott @Oporotheca
  21. stodd.ELBoston

    Anime Boston

    until
    DAY TIME POSITION NAME ROLE FRI 12-6 LEADER Shawn Todd LEAD/PITCH FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER Angela -DiMare Messier GREET FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris- Jones @Serolis PITCH FRI 12-6 VOLUNTEER CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 9-2 LEADER Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax LEAD/PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Rebecca Ash GREET SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Javier Para @Javier PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER Sam @quitecrazy PITCH SAT 9-2 VOLUNTEER CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 1-6 LEADER Angela DiMare-Messier @aradiadarling LEAD/PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris- Jones @Serolis GREET SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER Kris Waterman PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER David Kinghorn @Robop1g PITCH SAT 1-6 VOLUNTEER David DiMare-Messier CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 9-2 LEADER Eric Richburg @PotatoTaco LEAD/PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Ana Richburg GREET SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER John Gillis (Precision Gaming) PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Gregory Harris-Jones @Serolis PITCH SUN 9-2 VOLUNTEER Allen Chamberland @alleenc CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 1-6 LEADER Angela DiMare @aradiadarling LEAD/PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Rebecca Strauss @BeccaCora GREET SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Simon Strauss @kineticmedic PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER Christine Reale-Strauss PITCH SUN 1-6 VOLUNTEER David DiMare CONSOLE SUPPORT
  22. stodd.ELBoston

    PAX East

    until
    DAY TIME POSITION NAME ROLE FRI 9-2 Leader Eric Richburg @PotatoTaco LEAD FRI 9-2 Volunteer Luis Cardona @The Guat CONSOLE SUPPORT FRI 9-2 Volunteer Merissa Johnson @Merissa PITCH FRI 9-2 Volunteer David Kinghorn @Robop1g PITCH FRI 1-6 Leader Angela DiMare @aradiadarling LEAD FRI 1-6 Volunteer David DiMare CONSOLE SUPPORT FRI 1-6 Volunteer Emma McGowan PITCH FRI 1-6 Volunteer Patrick McGowan PITCH SAT 9-2 Leader Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax LEAD SAT 9-2 Volunteer Melissa @thats_spinach PITCH SAT 9-2 Volunteer Jessica Selberg @SassyJ PITCH SAT 9-2 Volunteer Kerry Selberg @KriptiKFate CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 1-6 Leader Angela DiMare @aradiadarling LEAD SAT 1-6 Volunteer David DiMare CONSOLE SUPPORT SAT 1-6 Volunteer Grace Taverna PITCH SAT 1-6 Volunteer Todd Standring PITCH SUN 9-2 Leader Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax LEAD SUN 9-2 Volunteer Todd Standring PITCH SUN 9-2 Volunteer Sam MacDonald CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 9-2 Volunteer Merissa Johnson @Merissa PITCH SUN 1-6 Leader Melissa @thats_spinach LEAD SUN 1-6 Volunteer Greg Harris-Jones @Serolis PITCH SUN 1-6 Volunteer Amelia Ott @Oporotheca CONSOLE SUPPORT SUN 1-6 Volunteer Maya Gagne PITCH
  23. stodd.ELBoston

    Northeast Comic Con

    until
    We are offically in for this show. SAT 9-2 Leader Danielle Standring @DMo2TheMax SAT All Leader Angela DiMare-Messier @aradiadarling SAT All Volunteer David DiMare-Messier SUN 9-2 Leader SUN 9-2 Volunteer David Kinghorn @Robop1g SUN 1-6 Leader SUN 1-6 Volunteer Simon Strauss @kineticmedic
  24. There was a bit of confusion over the weekend when Target was spotted dropping ball on the surprise announcement of the sneaky follow up to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. The leak contained everything from game bundles to the release date. Warner Bros. officially announced the sequel to Shadow of Mordor today and confirmed basically everything in the Target leak was accurate. The second game, titled Middle-earth: Shadow of War, has been developed by the same team at Monolith Productions that crafted the first entry in the budding series. It continues the adventures of Talion, the lone ranger who swore vengeance for the death of his family in Shadow of Mordor. The trailer for Shadow of War seems to show Talion and his Elven wraith ally forging a new ring of power in the heart of Mount Doom itself as Sauron marshals his forces in earnest against the world of men. New enemies unique to the game are shown joining Sauron's ranks alongside favorites like the Nazgûl. And, yes, at the end of the trailer your eyes did not deceive you: That was indeed a fully armored Balrog of Morgoth ready for war. Not going to lie, I personally had a good nerd out over that moment. Middle-earth: Shadow of War releases on August 22 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A gameplay demonstration has also been scheduled for March 8, so keep your eyes ready for that reveal. View full article
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