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The Witcher 3 and Her Story triumph at the Game Developers Choice and IGF Awards

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Her Story take the top prizes at the annual Game Developers Choice and IGF Awards.

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IGF awards 2016

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Her Story take the top prizes at the annual Game Developers Choice and IGF Awards.

The ceremony – held as part of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco – saw attendees celebrate the technological and artistic achievements of games large and small.

Sam Barlow’s Her Story took home the prestigious Seumas McNally Grand Prize at the Independent Game Festival Awards and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt won the Game Developers Choice, Game of the Year award.

Her Story was the big winner of the night, also taking home the IGF Excellence in Narrative award and the Game Developers Choice awards for Innovation, Best Narrative and Best Handheld/Mobile game.

Other IGF winners on the night included Undertale, Mini Metro and Oxenfree. This year’s Nuovo award recipient – which celebrates experimental game design – was Star Maid Games’ Cibile.

The winners in full:

Game Developers Choice Awards nominees and winners

Game of the Year

Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
Rocket League (Psyonix)

Innovation Award

Her Story (Sam Barlow)
Super Mario Maker (Nintendo EAD Group No. 4 / Nintendo)
Undertale (Toby Fox)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)
The Beginner’s Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.)

Best Debut

Studio Wildcard (ARK: Survival Evolved)
Toby Fox (Undertale)
Moon Studios (Ori and the Blind Forest)
Moppin (Downwell)
Steel Crate Games (Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes)

Best Design

Rocket League (Phoenix)
Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios/ Bethesda Softworks)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)

Best Handheld/Mobile Game

Lara Croft: GO (Square Enix Montreal / Square Enix)
Fallout Shelter (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
Downwell (Moppin / Devolver Digital)
Her Story (Sam Barlow)
AlphaBear (Spry Fox)

Best Visual Art

Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios)
The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
Bloodborne (FromSoftware / Sony Computer Entertainment)
Splatoon (Nintendo EAD Group No. 2 / Nintendo)

Best Narrative

Her Story (Sam Barlow)
The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
Life is Strange (Dontnod Entertainment / Square Enix)
Undertale (Toby Fox)
The Beginner’s Guide (Everything Unlimited Ltd.)

Best Audio

Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
Ori and the Blind Forest (Moon Studios / Microsoft Studios)
Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (The Chinese Room / Sony Computer Entertainment)
Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
Crypt of the NecroDancer (Brace Yourself Games)

Best Technology

Metal Gear Solid V (Kojima Productions / Konami)
The Witcher 3 (CD Projekt RED / CD Projekt)
Star Wars Battlefront (DICE / Electronic Arts)
Fallout 4 (Bethesda Game Studios / Bethesda Softworks)
Just Cause 3 (Avalanche Studios / Square Enix)

Ambassador Award

Tracy Fullerton

Life Time Achievement Award

Todd Howard

Pioneer Award

Markus ‘Notch’ Persson

Audience Award

Life is Strange

Independent Games Festival Awards nominees and winners

Seumas McNally Grand Prize

Darkest Dungeon
Her Story
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Mini Metro
Superhot
Undertale

Excellence in Visual Art:

Armello
Darkest Dungeon
Gnog
Mini Metro
Oxenfree
Panoramical

Excellence in Design

Her Story
Infinifactory
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Kingdom
Mini Metro
Superhot

Excellence in Audio

Darkest Dungeon
Lumini
Mini Metro
Panoramical
That Dragon, Cancer
Undertale

Excellence in Narrative

Black Closet
Her Story
That Dragon, Cancer
The Beginner’s Guide
The Magic Circle
Undertale

Nuovo Award

Cibele
Fantastic Contraption
Her Story
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
orchids to dusk
Panoramical
Progress
The Beginner’s Guide

Best Student Game

Ape Out
Beglitched
Chambara
Circa Infinity
orchids to dusk
Pitfall Planet

Audience Award

Undertale

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New Xbox One releases: March 2-6, 2020

Just four games are on next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases.

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New Xbox One game releases

Here is next week’s lineup of brand new Xbox One releases. Please don’t be excited.

Well, this is awkward. Just four new games are currently set for release on Xbox One in the next week. We can make it five if we include the new Warlords of New York expansion and bundle for Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

The add-on includes new exotics, gears, and skills, plus an increased level cap and revamped progression system. New players will also appreciate a boost to level 30, and we’re keen to see the expansion’s New York location and extended endgame.

Xbox One gamers can also look forward to RTS action game Amoeba Battle, and a port of the 2015 visual novel, Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet. Completing next week’s roster of new games is 60 Seconds and Baron: Fur Is Gonna Fly.

So there you have it. If you need more games to play, don’t forget to check out the latest additions to Xbox Game Pass.

Every new release can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and Microsoft online store. Here’s the confirmed lineup.

New Xbox One games – March 2-6, 2020

Monday, March 2, 2020

  • Amoeba Battle

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – Warlords of New York Expansion
  • Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

  • Baron: Fur Is Gonna Fly

Thursday, March 5, 2020

  • 60 Seconds

Friday, March 6, 2020

  • No releases

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for news of the latest Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 games. Follow Thumbsticks on Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter for more video game news headlines.

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Last chance to save in the Nintendo eShop Blockbuster Sale

Save on big Switch games – including Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Witcher III – in the Nintendo eShop Blockbuster sale.

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Nintendo eShop Blockbuster sale

Here’s your final call to save on big Switch games – including Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Witcher III – in the Nintendo eShop Blockbuster sale.

It’s not often that first-party Switch games get big juicy discounts on the Nintendo eShop, but the Blockbuster Sale in Europe is doing just that. Make sure you take a look before the promotion ends on March 1.

Some of the Switch’s most popular games are discounted by 33%, including Super Mario Maker 2, Super Mario Odyssey, and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Strategy RPG Fire Emblem: Three Houses is also reduced to coincide with the release of the Cindered Shadows DLC.

Some big third-party titles are also on offer. The recently updated port of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is reduced by 30%, as is Diablo III and Overwatch. The price of Mortal Kombat 11 is also sliced by 60%.

If you’re looking for a good couch-co-op game, ColdWood Interactive’s Unravel Two is also highly recommended.

Visit the Nintendo eShop in your country for the full lineup of Blockbuster sale titles, and check out some of our highlights below.

Nintendo eShop Blockbuster sale

  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses – 33% off
  • Overwatch: Legendary Edition – 30% off
  • Super Mario Maker 2 – 33% off
  • Super Mario Odyssey – 33% off
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – 50% off
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – 33% off
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization VI – 50% off
  • Diablo III: Eternal Collection – 30% off
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete Edition – 30% off
  • Unravel Two – 75% off
  • Team Sonic Racing – 30% off
  • NBA 2K20 – 50% off
  • Lego CITY Undercover – 70% off
  • Mortal Kombat 11 – 60% off

More from Thumbsticks

If you want something new to play on Nintendo Switch, read our roundup of this week’s brand new Nintendo eShop releases. And follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard for the latest video game news updates.

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Procedural mountain biking game Descenders adds hand-crafted bike parks

You can’t fault the hustle of Descenders developer RageSquid and publisher No More Robots.

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Descenders free hand-crafted bike parks update

You can’t fault the hustle of Descenders developer RageSquid and publisher No More Robots.

The procedural downhill mountain biking game has been one of the most frequently-updated and best-maintained video games of the past couple of years. The game was built and improved upon during early access, and then they just carried on in the same vein.

And yes, these updates have all been free. You lot don’t deserve RageSquid. They are good eggs.

That’s not to say we were entirely enamoured with Descenders when we reviewed it in early access. (And yes, there are arguments for and against reviewing games while they’re still in development. Our argument is that if you can pay money for a game it’s “out” and we might, therefore, want to critique it. It’s kind of our job.)

Mechanically and visually, Descenders is great. It’s an absolute rush to play and those end-of-section “bosses” are ridiculous. But the roguelite nature rubbed us up the wrong way and we often felt irritated by the limited lives and progress gated behind procedural generation. (Also, we hated the music. Sorry. We know that’s very subjective, but still.)

Then, just as we were about to hit publish, RageSquid pushed an update to Descenders that included a freeride mode. That helped our impression a bit, but do you know what we really wanted? To play hand-crafted tracks rather than procedurally-generated ones, and get really good at them. Procedural generation is cool and all – and we can see the benefit in replay value – but to our mind, there’s no substitute for the hand of the creator.

Basically, we wanted the gameplay of Descenders with fixed levels. Tony Hawk’s Pro Mountainbiker, if you will. Then RageSquid pushed another update to Descenders in October 2019 that included a modding toolset, and all bets were off.

It would appear we’re not the only ones who appreciated the addition of the ability to create hand-crafted tracks in Descenders. The feature has proved so popular that the latest update – which is available today on Steam – adds a selection of hand-crafted bike parks to the game.

“It became clear that players loved the crafted bike parks that modders were creating,” says Mike Rose, director of No More Robots.

“For this reason, we’ll now be bringing brand new, hand-crafted bike parks to the game on a monthly basis, starting with a selection from Descenders art director Roan Albers, and bike park designer Spe. In particular, the fully kitted out Stoker Bike Park is now available to ride with friends, complete with numerous new trails to explore.”

To celebrate this welcome addition, Descenders is free to play this weekend on Steam. If you like it, you can also buy it at a 40% discount for the duration.


Don’t forget to follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle NewsTwitter, and Flipboard.

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We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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Gearbox reveals Borderlands 3 Steam release date, next DLC

During its PAX East stage show, Gearbox reveals the next DLC for Borderlands 3. (And announces when the game will release on Steam.)

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Borderlands 3 Steam Hammerlock Wainwright DLC

During its PAX East stage show, Gearbox reveals the next DLC for Borderlands 3. (And announces when the game will release on Steam.)

Much like Metro Exodus, Borderlands 3 caused a bit of a stir when its Epic Game Store exclusivity was announced. Not that it should be the case. A platform holder offering developers a bigger slice (and even more money to tempt them to the store) shouldn’t be so contentious. But this concerns nerds on the internet, so of course, the sky was falling.

Metro Exodus recently released on Steam, a year after its release on the Epic Game Store. That makes sense. Exclusivity deals often last for a year in the console world.

But today, Gearbox announced that Borderlands 3’s Epic Game Store PC exclusivity will end on March 13, 2020. That’s just six months after the game originally released, on September 13, 2019.

Prepare yourselves for a torrent of “YouTube analysis” that states that the game is failing, or that it hasn’t sold well on Epic, or that it can’t survive without Steam, incidentally. And prepare to ignore it. All we can say for certain is that Gearbox is releasing Borderlands 3 on Steam. We don’t know exactly how it’s performed on the Epic Game Store, but 2K and Gearbox were pretty bullish about its figures. Six months might have been the plan all along. (TL;DR: Ignore armchair analysts and shouty YouTube folks. In general, obviously, but also in this instance.)

But that’s not all the Borderlands 3 news from Gearbox’s stage presentation at PAX East. There’s more! The game’s next DLC, the horrifically unwieldily named Guns, Love, and Tentacles: The Marriage of Wainwright & Hammerlock DLC, releases on March 26, 2020.

You’ll “reunite with old friends and team up with some eerie new characters to help true love triumph over eldritch horror,” apparently, as Sir Hammerlock and Wainwright Jakobs are due to marry. The vault hunters – teaming up with Gaige and, of course, Claptrap – will have to save the day, and the nuptials, from tentacle monsters.

In case you missed it, that’s a gay wedding in Borderlands 3. That’s very cool.


You should definitely follow Thumbsticks on FacebookGoogle NewsTwitter, and Flipboard. There’s no eldritch horror on there, we promise.

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We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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Improve your Zzz-Power with this lovely Pokémon Sleep merch

Snuggle up with Snorlax with a new range of Pokémon Sleep clothing, lamps, and alarm clocks.

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Pokémon Sleep “Snorlax used Rest” lamp

Snuggle up with Snorlax with this delightful new range of official Pokémon Sleep merchandise.

We don’t have a confirmed release date for the upcoming mobile game Pokémon Sleep, but the game’s new range of official merchandise from online retailer Merchoid is a good indicator that it’s coming soon.

Developed by Japanese studio Select Button, Pokémon Sleep was announced last May for iOS and Android. The game tracks the sleep patterns of its players using the Pokémon Go Plus+ peripheral and then transfers that data into some kind of game.

We love Pokémon as much as the next Pikachu, but we’re not entirely sure we want to gamify our sleep to prove our fan credentials. But, then, we’re old. Just watch it become another phenomenon.

In any case, Merchoid’s new range of official merchandise is really rather nice. The clothing line includes t-shirts, hoodies, sleep masks, all adorned with Pokémon favourites like Eevee, Pikachu, Charmander, and Jigglypuff. The sleep masks look particularly luxurious, and the “Snorlax Used Rest” lamp (pictured above) is pure genius.

Pokémon Sleep Merchandise

Head over to the Merchoid website for the full range of new Pokémon Sleep goodies.


More Pokémon from Thumbsticks

Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 video games. You can also follow us on FacebookGoogle News, Twitter, and Flipboard.

Thumbsticks needs your support

We hate to ask, but global advertising revenues are the lowest they've ever been. It's killing the online publishing world. If you found this article interesting or entertaining and you want to support quality games writing, then please consider supporting us via Patreon, buying us a coffee, or subscribing to our newsletter.


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