Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Latest Halloween Update For Team Fortress 2 Adds New Maps, Revives Old Ones

Almost ten years later, Valve is still adding new content and events to Team Fortress 2.

This year's "Scream Fortress VIII" Halloween event will see the introduction of three new community-build maps (Brimstone, Pit of Death, and Maple Ridge Event), two taunts, and a crate filled with twenty-one new cosmetic items. During the event, any "unusual" rarity items that drop from the crates will have a Halloween visual effect on them, and the chances for these unusual items to drop has doubled for the duration of the event.

The update also brings with it a number of returning features. All maps from previous Scream Fortress events are currently playable, and the contracts from the previous Scream Fortress return, along with some new one contracts.

The update is available now on PC.

[Source: Official Valve blog]


Our Take
I love that Valve is still supporting Team Fortress 2 with events like this. That it's kept up a community like this for almost a decade is impressive. Also, not to be a downer, but where's Dota 2's Halloween event? – The Feed

Esports Outfit Team Liquid Signs Pro Civilization VI Player

Most of us probably don't think of the Civilization series as a hyper-competitive game. In fact, we may think of it as the exact opposite: a calming, methodical game valuing decision-making over twitch reflex.

As it turns out, competitive Civilization has been around for a while, and as a marker of the game's success, eSports outfit Team Liquid has signed its first professional Civilization VI player, Stephen 'MrGameTheory' Takowsky. Takowsky has become a household name in high-level Civilization, earning the #1 spot on multiple Civilization V leaderboards.

On its announcement website, Team Liquid offers a brief primer on the world of high-level Civilization play, laying out what it takes to compete. "More than any other game, Civilization's turn-based format demands efficiency at all levels," the site says. "Unlike games that cap players based on their mechanics, Civilization taxes a person's decision making and ability to thrive under pressure." Team Liquid hopes to eventually sign a whole Civilization team, with Takowsky as its captain.

Team Liquid is also launching a Civilization VI tournament to coincide with their announcement. While you wait for Game Informer's full review, read Kimberly Wallace's preview of Civilization VI.

[Source: Team Liquid via PvPLive]


Our Take
Yeah, okay, I get it – you're skeptical. So am I. But most pro gaming scenes don't take off unless there's a concerted effort to build a scene where there wasn't one before. We take our current established eSports for granted because they've been around for so long, but even those had to build their presence. I can't say the idea of watching people play Civ for hours on end appeals to me, but the series seems popular enough that maybe someone else might. If nothing else, it'll be interesting to keep an eye on how the pro Civ scene (yep, still feels a bit weird to type that) develops. – The Feed

Why Ubisoft Trusted The Rocksmith Team With South Park

Fans of Obsidian's South Park: The Stick of Truth might have been surprised to hear that the television show's next RPG is being made by Ubisoft San Francisco, the developers behind the music-rhythm game Rocksmith. While visiting the studio for our November cover story on South Park: The Fractured But Whole, we spoke with senior producer Jason Schroeder and director of design Paul Cross about how the team went from third-party consultants on Ubisoft-published games to tackling an ambitious RPG alongside Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Watch the video below to learn more about the studio behind the new game and what the future holds for potential future South Park games.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To learn more about South Park: The Fractured But Whole, click on the banner below and stay up-to-date on our constantly updating hub of exclusive content. – The Feed

Iam8bit And Capcom Team Up For Resident Evil 7-Themed Escape Room

Escape rooms have become a fairly popular way for groups of people to get to together, test their mettle against difficult puzzles, and bond with each other. With Resident Evil 7 due to release next year, Capcom and video game merch company iam8bit are teaming up to create a Resident Evil-themed escape room. They're dubbing it an "escape experience" because the escape actually comprises of multiple rooms.

Tickets for the experience are extremely limited (only 300 are available), and only one room, located in iam8bit's Los Angeles office, will be presenting the experience from October 20 through November 6. Tickets are $ 35 and teams of up to six people are allowed. For more information on the escape room, visit the Eventbrite page for the event.

[Source: iam8bit] – The Feed

The Sports Desk – What Sports Games’ Ultimate Team Modes Need To Do Next

Ultimate Team – or any of the monetization modes in the sports games – are big business, and it's not all real-money exploitation, either. These fun modes have captured the imagination of gamers, and for some, are the preferred way to play the games. I have been thinking about this supposed shift in the balance of power away from the traditional single-player career track towards a multiplayer mode like Ultimate Team (which, BTW, I'm going to use as an umbrella term for all of these fantasy modes in this article, whether it's NBA 2K17's MyTeam or Pro Evolution Soccer 2017's MyClub). The chance to build a roster of players from different teams is obviously a big draw, as is the excitement of ripping packs for the gratification of getting a star or rare player card.

Due to the marketplace values, the involvement of real money, and the carrot/stick nature of these modes, grinding for packs (and/or the coins to buy them) is fundamental to them. While the modes have mixed it up over the last few years by featuring different kinds of challenges, ladder/gauntlet structures, and quicker ways to play, for gamers who don't want to spend real-money the prospect of all that grinding to build their teams up can be daunting.

But what if you paired the longer-term commitment of a career/franchise mode with Ultimate Team to help ease the grind (at least psychologically)? Career mode elements would provide an impetus to play over time due to the stake in the growth of your franchise and its players that this type of mode creates (versus the anonymous feeling of going up/down a division every 10 games in a typical Seasons UT mode), while still featuring the short-term gratification of pulling new, random players and the influx of new talent they can provide.

Here are some possible features for this Franken-mode:

  • Your performance from the week or any set period of games gives you coins and/or consumable packs you can spend on improving or healing your players. Or perhaps you could be given a choice: Once a week you can choose consumables for the players you already have, or open a pack for a whole new player that is at a minimum rated the same as the player you have at any given position, but possibly be better.

  • Coins could be spent on packs, but to offer the choice to invest in your franchise as well. They could be spent on scouting for free agents or the draft, which would be based around packs of players at specific positions. Overall, scouting would give you a better idea of who you'd get in a pack or increase your chances of getting a good player. Pro Evolution Soccer's system of spending coins on scouts and special agents to construct parameters that define which player you're going to randomly draw could be used here.

  • Coins could also be spent to buy contracts and/or sway players to sign/resign with your team.

  • Draft players would be drawn from the myriad different versions of existing players (including historic ones), with each round of the draft containing the usual chances for a gem or bust. Or the randomness of a pack could be used to generate your normal, made-up draftees.

  • Coins could still be used to buy different playbooks, uniform variants, and custom stadiums and player equipment.

  • Chemistry bonuses would be given to units that play together over time, thus encouraging you to keep players so they gel.

When you look at it, there's nothing radically different about these elements from your normal Ultimate Team or franchise mode, but by bringing them together you can gain the salient foundations of both (the player fluidity and randomness of UT and the structure and player/franchise investment of franchise) while still being more than just a fantasy draft in your career mode.

What do you think? Have any good ideas yourself? Put them in the comments section below.

Speaking of Career/Franchise modes, I had a couple thoughts on them as well recently…

What's Not Working
I've often talked about wanting owner features in my career modes, but as time goes by I realized I don't like them. Owner modes invariably involves setting prices, but this loses its luster rather quickly. Besides, oftentimes the financial side of a team in these modes comes strictly down to your performance in games (like in FIFA 17 or NHL 17), so what's the point of the accountant middle man, then?

Even when this aspect is tied directly to your team's budget (like in Madden 17), I simply can't be bothered to tweak the prices even if some advisor is yelling at me. I appreciate the verisimilitude these elements introduce, but when it comes to it, I'm not interested.

The fun of being an owner isn't about worrying about the bottom line, it's about the power and enjoying the riches. To this end, perhaps future owner modes or owner-related features need to be less about managing finances and more about things like physically creating and designing stadiums and influencing the league as a whole like in NBA 2K17's MyGM.

Another thing that's not working is training. For me, setting up practices and running through them never lasts more than a few weeks before I sim everything, come what may. I understand the importance of it to give the non-game time structure, the chance to grow your players, and the realism of it all, but I wish there was a better way to convey this part of sports beyond mind-numbing drills.

What is the Console Horsepower Doing For Your Career Mode Anyway?
Sports fans have it better than ever, but when I think of all the promises I've heard over the years about how the power of this console or that is going to change sports games forever, I have to laugh.

Of course, in terms of graphics, physics, and even A.I. (sometimes), we certainly benefit greatly from our current platforms. But when it comes to the guts of a career mode – the trade/free agent/draft A.I. logic, stat creation and tabulation, and simmed results, we're still searching for accuracy.

Even with a new stat engine for a few years, simmed games in Madden can deliver low stats for even elite-level A.I. QBs. Old, washed-up free agents in NHL still demand a ton of money (and in Pro Evolution Soccer players don't demand near enough and there's not enough player movement), and we've even seen LeBron James go to the Pacers in NBA 2K17 ('nuff said). These are just a few of the examples of how the A.I. running the data in the background of your career mode does a disservice to your franchise.

Given how the console manufacturers and game developers are always talking about the horsepower under the hood and how they're using it, it seems like getting the computer to crunch the numbers correctly is unfortunately still an elusive piece of math.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.




Driveclub VR (PlayStation 4) October 13
Infinite Air (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) October 25
Football Manager 17 (PC, Mac, Linux) November 4
Motorsport Manager (PC, Mac) November 10 (check out more about the game in this previous Sports Desk)
Steep (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) December 2 


A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week.

Supreme Court Declines To Hear NCAA Case Appeals

NHL 17 Predicts the 2016-17 NHL Season
Read it and weep.

The Golf Club VR Announced, Coming This Year
I wonder if you pull your head up on a shot does it affect on your swing?

Motorsport Manager & Football Manager 2017 Highly Anticipated This Holiday Season
Data trackers Nielsen have come up with the surprising results.

UFC 2 Available For Free For EA Access Members

NASCAR Heat Evolution Update Forthcoming – The Feed

Team Up With The Community In New Dying Light: The Following Bounty

Unite with other players in Dying Light: The Following Enhanced Edition in the third community bounty to kill one million zombies this weekend for special rewards.

The Carnage bounty runs through Sunday, October 9 (11:30 p.m. Pacific), and if you take part and the community reaches the goal, you'll get an exclusive lemon paint job and a special weapon docket.

To complete the challenge, players get special buggy weapons: mines, an electric cage, and flamethrower.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

Esports Outfit Team Liquid Sells To NBA, MLB Team Owners

Team Liquid is currently one of the biggest names in eSports, having fielded top-tier teams and players in competitive games like StarCraft, Dota 2, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. The team has been successful enough to court the interests of major sports investors, who have acquired a controlling interest in the team.

The team was acquired by Peter Guber and Ted Leonsis. Guber currently co-owns the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and MLS' Los Angeles Football Club and serves as Chairman and CEO of Mandalay Entertainment Group. Leonsis is the Founder, Chairman, and owner of Monumental Sports and & Entertainment, which owns a number of Washington DC-based teams, including the Mystics, the Wizards, and the Washtington Valor.

Team owners Steve Arhancet and Victor Goossens will continue serving as Co-CEOs of the team, as well as its directors. "I will always be a fan at heart – a gamer who fell in love with League of Legends," said Arhancet. "I followed that heart and built a team that is now shaping the future of esports, but there are still so many opportunities that we want to explore. With our new ownership group leading the charge, I am certain that we can grow from a premier esports team to a powerhouse sports entertainment franchise."

Other investors and co-owners include Earvin "Magic" Johnson, VR company NextVR, and former NFL Linebacker Dhani Jones.

[Source: Business Wire]

Correction: This story previously stated Leonsis owned Washtington state teams. This was not the case. Game Informer regrets the error.

Our Take
Along with the news of the 76ers picking up an eSports team of their own, this is sign of the times. ESports is big enough that investors are starting to treat them like regular sports teams. Here's hoping the extra cash helps the team expand their player and team pool. – The Feed

Philadelphia 76ers Pick Up An Esports Team

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired an eSports team. Under the deal, Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming's League of Legends team – which will compete under the name Team Dignitas – will be merged and managed by the basketball team.

This is the first eSports acquisition from a major North American sports team. According to the Sixers, it will manage Team Dignitas' daily operations and also provide support with endorsements, branding, and more.

[Source: The Rift Herald]


Our Take
The Sixers can afford to expand beyond the court, since they're obviously not overspending on player salaries. – The Feed

How To Import Real Team Kits & More Into PES 2017 On PS4

This year's Pro Evolution Soccer has a bevy of official licenses, from English Premier League teams like Arsenal, Bundesliga sides like Borussia Dortmund, and leagues in Brazil and Chile (for a full list, go here). Moreover, there's an easy way to fill in the gaps on the PlayStation systems and PC (sorry Xbox owners). Here's your step-by-step guide for importing kits, badges, manager photos, and more for PES 2017 specifically on the PS4.

First, scroll over to the Extras tab at the top of the main menu screen and select Edit. You'll see the screen below:

You'll come back to the screen above often in the process to access and change a variety of different elements such as importing unis and editing players.

For importing images of kits, team and competition badges, etc., scroll to the bottom and select Data Management.

Select Import/Export and then Import Images. You can import more images than in PES 2106, but the exact number depends on the resolution of the images and how much data overall it takes up. As you can see in the image above, there are L for large (resolution) and S for (small).

Where do you get the kit images? A number of fan sites can be found online if you search for PES kits option files PS4 or some variant thereof. You may have to search around a little to find the most up-to-date kits for the current season, but now that PES 2017 is out a variety of kits should be easy to find. Warning: you'll be downloading data from the internet, so make sure its from a trusted source for your own protection. Images like competition badges and manager photos can be found anywhere. 

All the files must either be .jpeg or .png files, and cropped to the correct resolution listed in the screen above. If they're too big, they may not be recognized for download.

Put the images you want to import on a USB in a folder named WEPES. My USB was formatted as an ExFAT USB in order for the PlayStation 4 to recognize it.

When you're importing images, everything on your USB will show up in this viewer (note: most of the kits shown are from last year). I had a bunch of folders with error marks on them, but when I scrolled down the images I had imported where there (shown above). You have the option to import all your images on the USB at the same time, but I think it's easier to import the emblems, kits, manager photos, etc. one at a time because they're easier to find.

Back out of the import screen to the original Edit menu. From here you can select the appropriate menu to import your images. For kits, select Teams. You'll see the screen above where you can change the team name and a variety of other fields.

As you can see, I've changed the default Man Blue PES team to the appropriate Manchester City, along with the manager name, team crest, and even a suave photo of Pep Guardiola. One of the many additions this year is the ability to put in a picture of your home ground. Do that by selecting Home Field in the menu shown above.

In the above shot you can see I've added this season's home Manchester City uni via the Uniform menu>Outfield Player's 1st>Paste Image.

New this year is the ability to include 3rd and 4th variations for non-keepers. Most kit option files out there include uniform variations teams often use for special occasions, so it's great that PES 2017 now supports more jerseys.

Also new this year is the ability to move the positioning of markings like name on the back of the jersey and the numbers on your kit. Even for imported kits you can also change the color of the number on the shorts, the type of collar for the jersey (there are now 13 different varieties), and more.

Furthermore, PES 2017 adds the ability to export and import team data via USB (and the same WEPES folder for kits, etc.). This includes gameplans and edited players.

Once you're all done editing and importing everything, save your data in the Data Management menu from the Edit screen.

For more details on the process, check out the PES 2017 official site.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed

NBA 2K17 Expands Its Commentary Team

Presentation is a big part of sports games, and the NBA 2K series has historically had one of the best overall packages. Commentary is a huge part of that, and today's NBA 2K17 trailer not only goes behind the scenes with the principles, but also gives you a flavor of what's in store.

New for this year is an expanded booth. Ex-players Chris Webber, Steve Smith, and Brent Barry, and former sideline reporter and analyst Doris Burke join Kevin Harlan and Greg Anthony at times to give even more flavor and diversity to the game's commentary. Check out some of the new content – including an amusing clip from the studio show – in the trailer.

For more on the game's presentation, check out the work being done on the title's arenas.

(Please visit the site to view this media) – The Feed