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    The 2019 Steam Autumn Sale continues!

    Valve
    By Valve,
    800db70169ddb10510ce5f0a7719925412749c84.jpg

    The 2019 Steam Autumn Sale continues through Cyber Monday*, with great deals across the Steam catalog.
     
    Alongside the Steam Autumn Sale are open nominations for the 2019 Steam Awards. Your nominations across eight categories will help determine the finalists in each category – and you can earn profile XP and badges for participating. In December, you can vote on the winners for each category during the Steam Winter Sale. Learn more about the Steam Awards here.
     
    *Offers end Tuesday December 3rd at 10am Pacific.

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    The 2019 Steam Autumn Sale continues!

    Valve
    By Valve,

    : You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here.

    View the full article


    Five Moments You May Have Missed In Red Dead Redemption II

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    rdrii-pic-1.png

    It’s been a year since Red Dead Redemption 2 surprised us all: The maturity, the subtlety, blew us away. We watched as one of the medium’s most multi-layered characters changed from belligerent badass to vulnerable hero (assuming the player guided Arthur toward the good path). What made it so moving wasn’t just the detail given to Arthur but the detail of the world. Join us as we look back at this monumental achievement, highlighting five easy to miss encounters that together encapsulate both Arthur's transformation and its significance. 

    Mickey

    Going into the game’s final act, Arthur looks to help people but doesn’t see himself as worthy of that same kindness. He writes: 

    “I don’t want saving. I don’t deserve it. I just want to help a few folk”

    Enter Mickey, a war vet in Valentine who Arthur can run into from time to time. Their interactions are utterly mundane. Arthur says almost nothing to the rambling Mickey. He just lends him an ear – allowing Mickey to share his woes. It seemed insignificant but wasn't.
    Their final interaction makes it clear; Arthur profoundly touched this man, just by listening.  By recognizing Mickey, Arthur gave him the courage to be honest for the first time, in a long time. Arthur did something kind, yet, he cannot respond to Mickey’s gratitude. Arthur is changing. He has changed. He just cannot acknowledge it.

    Charlotte

    Charlotte is a widow. Alone in the wilderness with no knowledge of how to survive, she is doomed until Arthur comes along. He teaches her how to hunt and fend for herself. She recognizes him as a decent man and invites him in for dinner. When Charlotte acknowledges Arthur’s decency, he enters a coughing fit. It’s as though his very body is trying to deny a truth he’s hid from his whole life. As the nun tells Arthur, in one of the game’s most beloved scenes, “That’s the problem. You don’t know you…whenever we happen to meet, you’re always helping people and smiling.” Being kind is in his nature. He can choose to be good and doing so means he is good. Finally, it begins to sink in. He later writes:

    “Maybe I’ve Got Something to Hope For”

    Woman on the Road

    While exploring the wilderness outside Van Horn, Arthur stumbles upon members of the McMurphy gang. They’ve attacked a wagon and are preparing to assault a woman. Arthur steps in, saves her, and takes her home. She thanks Arthur, and he does not recoil. He doesn’t acknowledge it right then, but he did something selfless. A bit later he writes about it, the first time he writes about doing something good with no self-deprecation. He even draws her. 

    A Boy and His Dog

    Passing through Strawberry, Arthur comes across a despondent boy who lost his dog. Arthur decides to help. After reuniting the two friends, Arthur lets go of his false identity and takes pride in his kindness. He is a good man and, for the first time, actively enjoys being himself.

    Evelyn Miller

    In his final journal entry, Arthur pays tribute to his journey.

    “I suppose every man has enough regrets to let him die happy. Just hope I did some good once I learnt to see the world for what it was. Ain’t my fault the process took quite as long as it did!”

    Arthur recognizes his goodness even by the fact that he regrets – wishing he could’ve done better. He desires good deeds because he is good. This understanding is something emotional, not rational. A truth portrayed by a special character, Evelyn Miller, in one of the game’s most hidden side quests.
    In the epilogue, players, as John, can find Miller, Dutch’s favorite philosopher. Miller advocates awe, proclaiming God’s presence in all nature. But he doesn’t see God within himself. He aims to reason to happiness.
    Comparing Arthur’s last journal entry to the following quote from Miller’s final treatise reveals the significance of what Arthur learns.

    “Oh, the lot of the fool, who aspires to be more. Ours is the most humiliating of burdens”

    Unlike Arthur, Miller cannot connect with the love found in feeling. He is obsessed with man’s rational limitations. Miller wishes to quantify his experience, to articulate an answer to why he suffers. As we see, it’s an impossible feat. 
    Miller cannot see the irony. In trying to reason to an answer, he is caught in the very cycle he laments. Arthur found peace in his ability to act, in choosing to be good. He did not need to understand why he chooses; he just does.

    <p>For more on Red Dead Redemption II check out our <a href="https://www.gameinformer.com/review/red-dead-redemption-ii/an-open-worl…;, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEfEb9_sxdc">reasons for giving&nbsp;it a perfect 10</a>, and <a href="https://www.gameinformer.com/video-podcast/the-game-informer-show/2019/… where we discuss the recent PC release</a>.</p>

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    Patch 8.3 PTR - BoA Item Level 400 Catch Up Gear, Brawl Change to Arathi Blizzard

    Curse
    By Curse,
    Patch 8.3 PTR - Bind on Account Item Level 400 Catch Up Gear
    Currently on the PTR, it has been discovered that catch up gear has been added in a manner similar to Argus and Timeless Isle. As you venture into Assaults in Uldum and Vale of Eternal Blossom, you will notice blue gear tokens will drop. Here is what we know so far:



    PvP Brawl Changed to Arathi Blizzard
    Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    In order to fix a technical issue preventing players from leaving the Comp Stomp brawl, we’re changing the brawl over to Arathi Blizzard for the rest of this week.

    We plan to then run a week of Comp Stomp starting Tuesday (Dec. 3).

    Sorry for the mix-up!

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    GI Show - Half-Life: Alyx, GOTY Chat Pt. 3, Death Stranding Performance Artist Justin Leeper

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    gishow_477.jpg

    Click here to watch embedded media

    If you are in the U.S., Happy Thanksgiving! If not...well, Happy Day. On this week's episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we keep things simple...almost. The show starts with Leo Vader and Ben Reeves as we discuss Half-Life: Alyx and what it means for fans of Half-Life and VR. And that discussion is just the beginning.

    In this week's community email segment, I'm joined by Matt Miller, Ben Reeves, and Leo Vader as we answer your questions and generally wander off topic. Then, Andrew Reiner, Brian Shea, and Matt Miller join me for part three of our Game of the Year chats, where I ask them what games are defining their year. This segment will run the rest of this year, as we bring in editors every week to talk about games that have impacted their year in the lead-up to Game Informer's Top 50 of 2019. 

    And finally, we chat with an old Game Informer team member, Justin Leeper. He had the opportunity to work with the legendary Hideo Kojima and did performance capture for Death Stranding. We interview him to learn about the process and what the experience was like.

    Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. 

    You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Playlisten on SoundCloudstream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

    Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

    To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

    3:53 - Half-Life: Alyx
    26:20 - Community Emails
    1:50:28 - Game of the Year Chats Pt. 3 - Featuring Matt Miller, Brian Shea and Andrew Reiner
    2:42:02 - Interview With Death Stranding Performance Artist Justin Leeper

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    Awesome Party Games For The Long Winter Ahead

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    tott_party2019.jpg

    Not every get-together is best served by a sprawling strategic board game that will take all night to complete. Know your crowd, and recognize that sometimes the right choice is a fun and accessible party game that everyone can enjoy with a minimum of explanation or setup.

    The following are some of my favorite recent party games, and any one of them could make for a great way to enjoy an evening with family and friends, no matter their experience level with tabletop gaming. As such, they’re an ideal pick for the holidays; wouldn’t you rather laugh through one of these games than hear your uncle tell his favorite fishing story for the 50th time?  

    Player counts are listed so you can cater to your group size, and I’ve even included several fully cooperative options – just in case you’ve got that one friend who can get a little too competitive.  

    monikers_card_sample_5.jpg

    Monikers
    Publisher: Monikers
    4-16+ players

    Recently reissued with new packaging and even some new cards, this stellar party staple demands that you guess the (sometimes inappropriate) word on your buddy’s card across a series of rounds that mixes clue-giving and straight-up charades. Fast-moving timed rounds and failed cards that get reshuffled into the deck lead to a growing vocabulary of in-jokes that you’ll laugh about for days.

    tattoo_stories_spread.jpg

    Tattoo Stories
    Publisher: Games By Bicycle
    4-6 players

    One player is the customer who selects an absurd mix of concepts from available cards to integrate into a single tattoo. Everyone else draws their idea on a whiteboard (in less than three minutes), and then pitches the customer on their vision for this indelibly printed piece of body art. The best idea wins! Don’t worry – almost everyone is just as bad at drawing as you are.

    81pc-ewj8wl._sl1500_.jpg

    Decrypto
    Publisher: IELLO
    3-8 players

    Split into two teams, and get ready for some code-breaking. Give clues that relate to four numbered keywords your team can see, but keep your hint vague enough that the other team can’t figure out the code you’re hinting at. Intercept and guess the other team’s secret communiques to win. Great for lovers of subterfuge and the meanings behind words.

    letter_jam.jpg

    Letter Jam
    Publisher: Czech Games Edition
    2-6 players

    Heady and thoughtful, this cooperative game challenges players to concoct words from the letter cards on display around the table. The trick is, you don’t know your own letter, and must infer its identity from the words given. Figure out multiple letters, and a final puzzle awaits, as you must guess the scrambled word created by all of them combined. Mixing elements of Scrabble, word jumbles, and good old-fashioned deductive reasoning, Letter Jam makes for an intriguing challenge for a quieter get-together.

    pantone_beauty3d.jpg

    Pantone
    Publisher: Cryptozoic
    2-20 players

    Inspired by the authoritative guide to color, Pantone is all about the way our brains identify objects and individuals by their shade. Taking turns as the color artist, you lay out several cards of distinct solid hues, but combined into shapes that represent familiar characters from popular culture, then try to get everyone else to guess who is on display. It’s a surprising twist on the classic Pictionary format that will especially appeal to enthusiasts for visual design.

    detective_club_components.jpg

    Detective Club
    Publisher: Blue Orange Games
    4-8 players

    One player comes up with a word and writes it down on multiple pads that are then given to all the other players (except one, the conspirator, who receives a blank pad). Players then take turns laying out surreal art cards that somehow match with the word, including the conspirator, who has no idea what the word is. The word then gets revealed to everyone, and each player must justify their card selection. If you’re the conspirator, enjoy lying to your friends!

    justone-content.jpg

    Just One
    Publisher: Repos Production
    3-7 players

    Everyone works together in this excellent cooperative word game. One player is the guesser who doesn’t know the mystery word, while everyone else writes down a clue that helps them figure out what that mystery word might be. The shared goal is get all the words correctly guessed. Absurdly simple to learn, and with a round playable in only 15-20 minutes, this is an easy pick for even groups with no game experience.

    whozitproduct.jpg

    Whozit?
    Publisher: Gamewright
    2+ players

    This clever twist on the character guessing concept is a ton of fun. You have a designated character card (randomly assigned among six that are viewable by the whole team) that points to either a familiar cultural figure (like Papa Smurf, Serena Williams, or Mr. Spock) or a more generalized designation (like janitor, sumo wrestler, or the youngest player in the room). You then have a set of clues (like “would wear a tutu to a fancy party” or “has shoplifted”) that you can assign values between “Definitely” and “Definitely Not.” The other players then debate which of the character cards to eliminate, one by one, with points for each correct guess.

    blunder.jpg

    It’s Blunderful
    Publisher: Games by Bicycle
    4-8 players

    You’re presented with an awkward situation on a card, and one of three equally awkward ways that you could choose to react to the situation. After you secretly select the way you would go, everyone else then votes on how they think you would handle the encounter. It’s Blunderful is likely one of those games better suited for adult friends who don’t mind the sometimes embarrassing dynamics being discussed, and it’s almost certainly a better choice for exclusively grown-up groups.

    patchworkdoodle.jpg

    Patchwork Doodle
    Publisher: Lookout Games
    1 to 6+ players

    Loosely based on an earlier and beautiful two-person game called Patchwork, the recent “Doodle” variant is faster and built for larger groups to play together. Players compete to build/draw their own patchwork quilt on a paper pad. You draw in your grid using assigned shapes, and then score based on completed rectangular shapes within your drawing. Incidentally, while you can play with just the included pencils, the game is a ton more fun if you bring some crayons along and let people color in their quilt as it comes together.

    rid_exp.jpg

    Ridiculous Expositions
    Publisher: Gray Matter Games
    2+ players

    This decidedly adult party game (say the title of the game out loud several times until you hear it) challenges players to read nonsense phrases out loud until they can successfully guess the implied (frequently dirty) phrase. So, in one of the more mild cards, you might get “Draw Pit Lie Kits Ought,” and try to guess the phrase: “Drop it like it’s hot.” Rounds go quick, the silly phrases should get your friends laughing, and it takes next to no time to wrap your head around the concept; just keep in mind that the NSFW content makes this a game you probably won’t break out with just anyone.  

    weredoomed_rs.jpg

    We’re Doomed: The Game of Global Panic
    Publisher: Breaking Games
    4-10 players

    Looking for a little bit of thematic fun mixed in with your party game? Check out the backstabbing geopolitical insanity that is We’re Doomed, a game about contributing resources to build a rocket that is the only escape off of a doomed world, and then having enough influence to earn a seat on that rocket. Form alliances, nuke your opponents, and even draw secret events that only you know about. Just be cautious; rounds tend to be short and replayable, but grudges can last a long time.

     

    I'm confident one of the games above can be a great fit for a holiday or other winter get-together with your family or friends, but if you'd still like some advice to find the perfect selection, feel free to drop me a line. 

    And if you're looking for some more awesome tabletop games to enjoy over the long winter ahead, dig into the backlog of articles in the Top of the Table hub, which you can reach through the link in the banner below. Happy gaming!

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