As we are finally releasing Imagine Earth on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S I started remembering what an adventurous development this game was for us. Martin and I have put seven years of intense work into our world simulator which is quite special in the way it combines city building and economic strategy, resource management and ecological survival on global planets.
The game combines many valued game mechanics in a unique way and all the time we wanted it to run on Xbox. So we optimized everything for gamepad controls when creating interfaces and storytelling. An early version already ran on the Xbox 360 devkit since the first prototype we made as students was a finalist in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Finals ’08 in Paris where they had the category Game Design for the first time ever. While the game grew up we changed the game engine twice and overhauled interface and character design even more often.
I’m sure that we could only keep up this long dev journey thanks to public recognition like the Imagine Cup and of course the support of over 43,000 backers in early access. Over the years, the climate crisis has become more and more blatant and arrived as an issue in the middle of society. The growing awareness of the issue gave us the confidence to work on an urgent topic and incorporate the climate crisis into the gameplay as an authentic core mechanic.
Build Your Own Civilizations on Distant Planets
Over time, Imagine Earth has become an economic strategy game with an environmental planet simulation. The job of a space colony manager is to build up and supply colonies on a global scale. The aim is to develop efficient production and space trade to thrive and prosper but also doing research and development for new technologies to avoid catastrophes, rising sea levels and global climate collapse.
At start, it’s a peaceful infrastructure building game as the use of weapons is prohibited in its futuristic scenario. First players have to build city districts and supply them with food, energy, and goods. Finding the best placement of every building is a complex puzzle as they have many positive and negative influences on each other and there are various ground conditions and deposits on the fields. With the produced goods or harvested materials additional equipment can be crafted or more complex items for sale. To preserve quality of life for the colonists one needs to find a balance between growth and sustainability sooner or later.
A Race for Limitless Economic Growth in Space
Furthermore the game puts the player in the role of a global economic actor. The player has to compete economically against other corporations for supremacy over a globalized market. This includes share trading and hostile takeovers but you can even use terraforming and weather manipulation to crash your opponents stock prices. Form alliances or face all kinds of diplomatic struggles.
The factions might be forced to cooperate from a certain point of planetary development to preserve the environment as their common basis of life. The world congress is a democratic allegiance containing every faction on the planet. It adopts resolutions for taxes and subsidies, penalties, and supplies. Brought closer together by the threat of climate change the factions discuss emission levies and environmental funds or banning certain technologies like fossil fuels and hopefully find strategies and answers to preserve their homeworld.
The Fate of Whole Worlds Lies in Your Hands
As said, we started this project as students once and the way the prototype seemed to make the most threatening and pressing problem of our time playable in a simulation has kept us excited and busy for so many years now. The challenge of global climate change, which seems too abstract and inconceivable to the individual, should become tangible and treatable by giving the player the responsibility for the fate of a global ecosystem.
The science fiction scenario, which we wrapped around this topic over time, primarily serves the purpose of enabling a thought experiment with an open outcome and to eliminate ideological reservations and sensitivities, which would have blocked a terrestrial scenario. In terms of story-telling and dramaturgy, we were constantly faced with the challenge of balancing entertainment and seriousness so that Imagine Earth could shine as a game and still raise plausible questions without becoming moralistic or informative. Rather, it should be inviting, motivating, and arouse curiosity. The lightweight visual style is supposed to raise accessibility of gameplay. It also celebrates the triangle, that smallest, universal component of all 3D computer game worlds, as a stylistic design element.
Xbox One X Enhanced
Imagine Earth is a real-time planet simulation and a build up strategy game. Your job as a space colony manager is to explore and populate distant planets. Build up thriving and profitable colonies on a global scale and trade resources and goods into space.
Profits vs. Ecocide
You will experience a massive conflict between the profit goals of the interstellar corporations and the need to preserve living conditions for your people. Exhaust emissions and ground pollution impact the global climate as your colony is growing. Increasing temperatures melt down polar caps and your colonies are destroyed by rising sea levels.
Expansion & Research
Raise great cities and satisfy their appetite for resources by building power plants, farms and factories. Dig for ideon crystals, pacify riots, research technologies and constructs and maximize your growth while maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
Allies, Threats & Enemies
Get ready to deal with threats like asteroid strikes, twisters, wild fires, volcanoes and rising sea levels. Fend off space raiders and alien investors. Coexist and trade with natives, merchants and hostile colonies.
Capitalist Space Age
In 2048 huge corporations have divided Earth among themselves and exploited its natural resources to a large extent. Now the discovery of ideon crystals allows journeys into space, while technologically and ideologically almost everything remains the same. The laws of the market are being spread into the universe.
Competition and Economic Warfare.
On each discovered planet a competition for economic dominance breaks out. To expand your colony as fast as possible and overcome your opponents you exploit the freely available fossil resources and minerals. Additional money is provided by selling shares of your colony. Take over opposing companies by buying up their shares.
Trade Resources and Technologies
Merchants and technology traders organize the interplanetary trade and will happily buy all minerals and resources you extract from your territory while selling expensive technologies. The same goes for cooperating colonies and alien tribes that live on some of the planets.
Author: Jens Isensee, Creative Lead, Serious Bros.
Read more here >>> Xbox Wire
Astalon: Tears of the Earth is yet another retro-inspired action platformer on Switch eShop, with a sprinkling of light RPG elements. It tells the tale of an unspecified planet that falls into chaos after an endless battle between its many kingdoms. After decades of surviving in the wasteland, a band of three heroes journey into the Tower of Serpents in the hope of saving their village. It’s a fairly bog-standard plot, but one that ultimately feels quite lean, with little fat to distract from the strong gameplay on offer here.
You play as all three heroes, interchangeable at various campfires set up within the tower: there’s Arias, the keen fighter who prefers close quarter combat; Algus, a stoic wizard who can shoot powerful orbs towards enemies; and Kyuli, a sultry rogue with a slow, but accurate long-ranged bow. Each character has their own stats which can be upgraded via the mighty Epimetheus, a fearsome beast who grants our heroes new abilities in exchange for the soul of Algus.
The gameplay feels very much like your average Metroidvania, with multiple pathways to explore, locked doorways, and a smattering of collectibles to gather on your way. Certain pathways require a specific character in order to progress; for example, Kyuli can jump higher than Arias and Algus, which may be required for accessing high ground. Similarly, Arias can cut down blockages, and Algus can activate magical switches. It’s great that the game encourages you to play as all three characters, but it’s mighty frustrating when you have to backtrack to the nearest campfire in order to pick the right character.
The enemies littered throughout the tower are varied and continually interesting; some float around the area, some can fire projectiles, and others simply charge at you with reckless abandon. Mini boss encounters happen rarely, and when they show up, they always prove to be a nice change of pace, albeit not particularly very challenging. The main bosses are excellent, however, providing tough experiences without ever feeling overbearing.
The game offers up multiple graphical filters depending on your preference (although annoyingly, you can only access this via the main menu). By default, the pixel-heavy visuals appear softened, giving off a more retro feel, but you can swap this out for a ‘proper’ CRT filter, a black and white filter, or none at all. We’ve rarely seen a game with this many graphical options, which is genuinely great to see. The game otherwise looks pretty good throughout; the sprites and environments are fairly basic, but there animation and effects are strong throughout, and there’s a nice use of colour.
With a great variety of environments, simple gameplay, and a strong line-up of enemies, Astalon: Tears of the Earth turns out to be one of the more successful action platformers we’ve seen in recent months. It will likely only last a handful of hours, but there’s a lot here to love, and it’s a relative no-brainer if you’re a fan of high fantasy Metroidvanias.
The scientific model of the cosmos states the Big Bang gave birth to the universe some 13.8 billion years ago. Within this incredible period, stars appeared, galaxies developed and planets took shape, with our solar system forming in the last five billion years or so. The US space agency NASA, for instance, states: “When the solar system settled into its current layout about 4.5 billion years ago, Earth formed when gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in to become the third planet from the Sun.”
How do scientists come to these conclusions? They look at the geological record, sediment deposits, and even by dating rocks that have come to our planet from our cosmic neighbours.
But there is a body of so-called Young Earth Creationists who reject attempts to date the planet, through what they believe are flawed methods.
Young Earth Creationists, instead, believe the planet’s history can be traced from the moment of creation to Jesus Christ’s death by closely studying the pages of the Bible.
Although the estimates vary, Young Earth Creationists typically claim the Earth is only 6,000 to 10,000-years-old – and they believe they can back these astonishing figures.
How old is Earth: Many people believe the Earth is only 6,000-years-old (Image: GETTY)
Tom Meyer, a professor of Bible studies at Shasta Bible College and Graduate School in California, US, has told Express.co.uk why he thinks the Earth is considerably younger than what we have been taught in schools.
Professor Meyer is sometimes known as the Bible Memory Man thanks to him memorising more than 20 books from the Holy Bible.
Mount St Helens entered a period of intense activity in 1980 that killed more than 50 people.
Although tragic, Young Earth Creationists believe the eruption has highlighted a flaw in attempts to date the planet’s age.
According to Professor Meyer, attempts to age the newly formed cap on the volcano using Potassium-argon dating (K-Ar) have proven “far from accurate”.
The method and its supposed shortcomings were famously highlighted by Young Earth Creationist Dr Steve Austin and the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), when they analysed samples collected from the volcano in 1986.
This has even led to the Mount St Helens Creation Information Center being established “for the purpose of witnessing to the truth of God’s Word in Genesis”.
Professor Meyer said: “The severe faultiness of the dating method should cause everyone who adheres to the belief that the earth is 4,600,000,000 years old to reconsider that belief.
“According to the Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal (Volume 10. No. 3, pp-335-343, 1996), using the conventional K-Ar dating methods, the porphyritic dacite which solidified on the surface of the lava dome six years after the eruption dates to 50,000 to 350,000 years old.
How old is Earth: Mount St Helens eruption in 1980 (Image: GETTY)
How old is Earth: Who do you believe? The Bible or scientists? (Image: GETTY)
“Also, the mineral concentrates from the dacite which formed in 1986 gave K-Ar ages of 60,000 to 2,800,000 years old; this pyroxene concentrate was only six years old at the time they tested it.
“The same radiometric dating methods that date the extinction of dinosaurs to 65,000,000 years ago and the Big Bang to 4,600,000,000 years ago dated Mount St. Helen’s porphyritic dacite to 50,000 to 350,000 years ago when in reality it was six years old.”
Professor Meyer believes these discrepancies cast a shadow of doubt on other methods used to date our planet.
He added: “Scientists admit that the K-Ar method isn’t reliable for dating samples less than 6,000 years old; if indeed the universe is 6,000 years old, then of what use is the K-Ar dating method?
“Natural catastrophes like Mount St. Helens continue to be fresh evidence that geological formations aren’t as old as everyone claims. The Earth is young.”
Scientists have, however, tried to explain the Mount St Helens conundrum.
Kevin R. Henke, an American geochemist formerly of the University of Kentucky’s Department of Geology, challenged the Young Earth theory in regards to the US volcano.
Several videos have emerged from official US sources which appears to show strange objects in the skies. Headlines were made across the globe in 2017 when US Navy radar footage of a mystery object with a “glowing aura” and flying erratically was leaked to the public.
The debate over UFOs reached fever pitch when the footage emerged of what some called an alien craft.
The Pentagon will release a report next month over the “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP) sightings, but one senator believes they are not of this world.
New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich told TMZ: “I don’t know what it is, but any time you have legitimate pilots describing something that doesn’t seem to conform to the laws of physics that govern aviation and is in US airspace, I think It’s something we need to get to the bottom of.”
Many experts believe the UFOs, or UAPs, could be highly technological drones sent by a foreign government to spy on the US.
The key word in the two acronyms is ‘unidentified’ which does not necessarily mean they are of alien origin.
However, Mr Heinrich believes there is no government in the world with the technological capabilities to make such drones.
He continued: “If there is a foreign government that had these kinds of capabilities, I think we would see other indications of advanced technology.
“I can’t imagine that what has been described or shown in some of the videos belongs to any government that I’m aware of.
“And so, you know, I think that people still take seriously trying to investigate and figure out what that is.”
The current president, Joe Biden, was then asked by Fox News during a press conference: “President Obama says there is footage and records of objects in the sky — these unidentified aerial phenomena — and he says we don’t know exactly what they are.
“What do you think?”
President Biden replied: “You should ask him again,” before making a swift exit.
A new map has been released showing the predicted area where the core of the rocket will land as being somewhere between latitudes 41.5 degrees north and 41.5 degrees south of the equator. The Chinese rocket did not have controlled re-entry factored into its mission trajectory. The main core segment of the Long March-5b rocket was used to launch the first module of China’s new space station last month.
The core segment weighs over 18 tonnes.
When the core re-enters the earth’s atmosphere it will be the largest piece of debris in decades to have an uncontrolled dive into the atmosphere.
Scientists in the US are watching the path of the object.
Having the game available today via the Game Preview program with Xbox Game Pass on Day One is beyond thrilling and will allow us to shape the game together with you as we move towards a full release. But before we throw you to the dinosaurs, here’s a few things that could be good to know.
How did we end up here?
The dinosaurs we all thought to be extinct have been lying nestled in the Earth’s crust for millions of years, resting and waiting for the perfect circumstances to arise. And when they did, they were fast and ruthless. Within hours, everything had changed. In the face of total annihilation, the directors of the Emergency Response Agency (ERA) organized planetary evacuations.
Now, years later, the human resistance has regrouped and is finally ready to fight back. Squads of survivors with relevant experience will be dropping back to Earth from orbiting space stations to gather essential resources, weapons, and information about the dinosaurs. And this is where you, our Extinction Elites, come in.
It’s worth mentioning is that Second Extinction is not a lore-focused game, but you will get clues and winks in the seasonal content on what has gone down and how the dinosaurs ended up becoming the mutated beasts they are. So, if that is something you fancy, keep an eye out.
Why 3-player co-op, you might wonder? Early in development, the team played around with different setups and ideas. What worked best was a 3-player squad, and so Second Extinction was designed with that in mind. That doesn’t mean you can’t drop down to Earth with only one friend joining or going in solo but do so at your own risk. It’s quite the challenge that deserves bragging rights if you survive, especially in the higher difficulty settings.
If I can’t talk you into bringing some backup when going planet-side, I recommend starting with Expedition Mode, where you can roam the map freely and can call in a dropship to get you when you’re ready to go back to safety.
Who’s your pick?
We currently have five heroes who fit into three classes. We have our Troopers, the agile DPS class where we have the dashing Ortega and stealth sniper Jürgen. Next up, we have the Enforcers, our brutes, or tanks with the big and heavy guns only an exo-suit carrying hero can handle. Here you find Rosy and our newest addition to the lineup Jack. Finally, we have the Operators, the gadgety-class where we find our explosion and laser loving Amir.
Besides their different strengths, the classes also determine what guns that character gets to play with. For example, the Enforcers have the Rocket Launcher, and the Operators have the Grenade Launcher. Whoever you’re leaning towards, I recommend trying them all out to see what works best for you and your playstyle.
How does progression work?
Remember the Rocket Launcher? It unlocks at level 15. The more you play and gather research and materials, the higher level you will reach, and on the journey to the current max level of 25, you’ll unlock some rocking gear and weapons.
You can also use the research and materials you gather to upgrade and unlock weapon perks. Make sure you don’t avoid killing any dinosaurs you find challenging. They drop different materials, and the ones you need for the cool perks are, of course, on the rarer side, so be versatile in what types you kill. Or just kill all of them.
Below you can see the Scout Rifle skill tree. There are a set number of tokens that can be used and placed strategically so make sure to try different combinations and experiment to find what perks work best for you.
Where to speak your mind
As the community manager, I want to hear as many individual voices as possible to understand what the community thinks. To reduce the risk of your feedback getting lost and keeping it as efficient as possible, you’re invited to gather on our Discord server.
Since our Early Access release on Steam last October, our Discord has been the community’s base of operations. It is the place to talk to other players, ask questions, give feedback, and get in touch with the development team. We also have weekly challenges and a poll every Monday to get the community’s opinion on game-focused questions. It’d be greatly appreciated if you want to be part of the community to join our Discord and make your voice heard. If you’re interested in influencing what the future holds, this is the best way to make sure we hear you loud and clear.
See you on the battlegrounds and on our social channels!
Second Extinction™ (Game Preview)
Xbox One X Enhanced
PC Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass
This game is a work in progress. It may or may not change over time or release as a final product. Purchase only if you are comfortable with the current state of the unfinished game. A NEW BREED OF BIG MAP MULTIPLAYER SHOOTER The goal is simple: Reclaim earth. In Second Extinction you take on hordes of mutated dinosaurs with up to two friends. Solo players beware: Second Extinction is designed with squads in mind. Only the strong will survive. GAME PREVIEW IS JUST THE BEGINNING The goal of Game Preview is also simple: Work with our community to make the best game possible. We want to hear your feedback loud and clear, and we intend for our community to be a vital part of the development process. Even so, there’s plenty to get your teeth (and claws) into from day one: 4 heroes, 10 weapons (with 5 upgrade tiers each) and 6 missions – plus some special side quests – across multiple regions of our big map. JOIN THE WAR EFFORT, SHAPE THE FUTURE Our mantra is that players win battles, communities win wars. Nowhere is this more true than our War Effort feature. Each region of our big map has a unique threat level. This threat level can be lowered if enough of our players are successful in their missions and activities. But the dinosaurs aren’t resting either, and they’ll focus their efforts where you aren’t. Each week the community will see the fruits of their labors or feel the consequence of their incompetence. Let the threat level get out of control and you can expect an especially tough Emergence Event to be waiting for you. By playing Second Extinction you’re not just picking up another co-op shooter. You’re joining us on a journey as we shape the experience. Every piece of feedback and every mission you play matters. So what are you waiting for? The fight to reclaim earth starts here. Full details on the latest status of the game, how you can give feedback and report issues can be found at https://www.secondextinctiongame.com/
Sophie Brussaux took to Instagram to share a new photo of her and Drake’s adorable son Adonis as he celebrated Earth Day while posing in front of one of her paintings.
Drake‘s son Adonis looked adorable as ever in a new photo shared by his mom Sophie Brussaux, 31, via Instagram on April 23. The three-year-old flashed a huge smile for the camera and looked as cute as can be while sporting his curly blond hair for the snapshot.
Adonis sported blue sweatpants and a matching sweatshirt which bore an image of the planet in celebration of Earth Day. He pointed to the art piece by mom who had painted a matching earth on her canvas. “Everyday is #EarthDay!! My fav little human proudly showcasing mommy’s painting [heart emoji] hoping to give you a better world mon amoureux,” Sophie captioned the post.
Fans flooded to the comments section to gush over the “Toosie Slide” rapper’s son. “It’s the curly hair and the mega watt smile for me,” one follower replied. “Awww he’s just the cutest! Love his curls! Great smile,” another commented. One Instagram follower @elishaangel clearly knew Sophie and replied, “He’s getting so big.” Sophie responded, “They do get big fast these little monsters…remember when we were FaceTiming 1yo little Cam, and now your son is pretty much going to college.” Her friend offered some advice, “Cherish this age because soon that’s gonna be Adonis.”
Adonis has grown up in front of our eyes and luckily we’ve been able to see it through the numerous photos his doting parents post on social media. One of the most recent showed the 34-year-old rapper resting his head on the tot’s shoulder while laying down and closing his eyes. Drake’s sweet little boy tilted his head to comfort his father as he held a bowlful of snacks. He captioned the heartwarming pic with a fingers crossed emoji.