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Greetings Spellcaster,

We’ve been watching you. You’re growing more attuned to the city. You can feel the vibrations of mass transit: the rise and fall of crowds, the waves of traffic, the crush of the El Train.

You can manipulate these unseen forces of movement as The Kineticist!

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This astral form directs city debris with blunt power. Feel kinetic energy course through your fingers as you master these Primal Spells:

  • Lift and redirect ambient objects with Telekinesis.
  • Repel opponent attacks with the Telekinetic Shield.

Embers energize three arcane gesture spells:

  • With a push gesture, attract detritus to ready a Debris Scatter, then project it outward in a concentrated cone of shrapnel. Charge up, then cast Debris Scatter at close range to damage an opponent with every deadly shard.
  • With a volley gesture, levitate a Mass Drop of automobiles to damage your enemy from above. The initial pose directs one car to your opponent; hold the pose to raise cars above up to three pedestals, selected by your gaze. Drop your arms with force for a higher-damage attack.
  • With a guard gesture, form a Force Bubble to repulse enemy spells. Cast quickly to counter, or hold the crossed-arm pose to generate a larger, more durable bubble.

The Kineticist wields heavy objects with a deliberate style. Time your Telekinetic Primal carefully. Defend with your off-hand shield while an object overcomes inertia to move to your primary hand.

A held object can act as an improvised shield. And a thrown object can nullify an enemy projectile. Your Primal defensive capabilities are second to none.

There are massive objects in every arena—concrete fountains, metal machinery, stone gargoyles. These inflict the most damage. Gesture toward an object with your offensive hand to draw it close. But choose carefully; heavy objects take longer to attract.

Debris Scatter excels at breaking enemy shields and shattering Summon Orbs.

Save your Embers. A quickly cast Mass Drop can divert an adversary while you move close to prepare a Debris Scatter spell. Multiple Mass Drops will leave your challenger with no safe haven.

To prevail, you must sense the ebb and flow of intangible waves as you manipulate the dense matter of the physical world. Duel with verve, but never forget the gravity of the ancient code.

May you crush your rival before your rival crushes you.

Ever watching,

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Greetings acolyte,

A power plant looms at the south branch of the Chicago River. Once, the station was an engineering marvel, with steam engine turbines that illuminated half the city even as they cloaked its skyline in black fog. But now it stands silent and ominous, shuttered long ago by a bleak safety record.

In this abandoned temple of industry, Spellcasters follow the ancient code of the duel! Burnham Station is a cavernous interior arena bisected by electrified machinery. These moving barriers test timing and precision—the physical techniques that underpin the art of spellcasting.

Victory follows grace. Ascendant arch-mages know that it’s not just the selected spell—it’s how well the spell is cast. Primal spells are different for each class, and each one requires proficiency in a new skill, so that each class is defined by its play style. The Anarchist’s Fireball grows more powerful with sustained ignition, and damages its target with an accomplished throw. The Blackjack’s Spectral Knives multiply with a controlled chargeup, and fly to a target with laser-like precision. The Kineticist’s Telekinetic attack is strengthened by the selection of a massive object, hurled at an opponent with blunt efficiency.

The head complements the hand. Balancing casting time with the strength of the Primal Shield and the cooldown of Teleportation is vital. A newly cast shield enables a magician to hold ground. But a deteriorating shield prompts a move to a new pedestal. And when an opponent teleports while a shield is in a cooldown state, there is a moment of exposure. Anticipating opponent movement maximizes damage. When timing is clicking, when casting and moving are in sync, duels feel sublime. Spellcasters enter a mind-altering state of flow.

Burnham station grows dark as a match progresses. Timeworn machinery whirs to life, powered by other dimensional energies. Distant rear pedestals are fortified, while forward pedestals offer a firing line through rotating wheels. As sparks fly between support columns, the Summon Orb manifests an antiquated dynamo. Assembling it brings the Electric Beast through the veil to punish an opponent with high-voltage tendrils. Was this monstrosity formed when Burnham station was operational? Or did it will the massive turbines into existence to act as an earthly vessel?

Acolyte, do not stare into the void. Keep your eyes and mind always on the battlefield.

Ever Watching,

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Greetings acolyte,

The street grid crawls toward the lake shore, then abruptly stops. In the deep recesses of a high-rise foundation, a construction crew makes a startling discovery: a great building of the promenade, long forgotten. The structure is packed tight in strata of dirt and ash. But still it gleams in electric light, an intact survivor of the fire of 1894.

Spellcasters meet in the mystic glow of this eldritch battle-pit to fight for dominance! The Jackson Digsite is a dramatically vertical arena, with sweeping elevation changes between low and high pedestals. The winning arch-mage maintains an otherworldly awareness of the full space, and chooses positions that offer an unobstructed view of the battlefield—all to remove opponent cover points and Embers one by one.

Focus is all-powerful. Skilled duelists hoard Embers, knowing that a single spell can be countered. But casting multiple spells in rapid succession forces a hapless opponent to choose between unfortunate options. A Pyrotechnic Volley targets all opponent pedestals from above, save one—coupling it with a homing Chaos Skull leaves no pedestal safe. A Spectral Cloak conceals the caster, even when teleporting—following it with a precise Disc of Blades exposes the enemy to a surprise attack. Cthulhu’s Grasp summons deadly tentacles, effectively herding an opponent into a position—pairing it with the close-range Debris Scatter increases the probability of a high damage attack. There are countless feints, manifold techniques for diverting attention and overwhelming an opponent. That is how true Spell casters buy time to ready their next spell.

Deep, dark Jackson Digsite demands extraordinary focus. One forward pedestal provides a destructible cover point. Another provides an advantageous casting angle. A rear pedestal looms high over the battlefield, but requires a defensive survey of the space. Here, blocking angles are obtuse, and homing spells rise up from below.

The very ground is impermanent. As it crumbles away, it reveals an abyss—straight down to the smoldering remnants of the White City itself, where the fiery Serpents of Sol Bloom’s Midway Plaisance arise to protect any magician bold enough to seize the Summon Orb.

The Council favors this hallowed space. May the Spellcaster’s code govern your duel.

Ever Watching,

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Greetings acolyte,

In the shadow of the El tracks, there is a neighborhood where no one lives. The streets here are deserted, save for scattered commuters and lost tourists. No packages have been delivered here in over fifty years. And yet when night falls, every storefront glows with neon light.

Unseen Spellcasters gather here to duel in the Elmhurst Avenue arena! In this uncommonly long battleground, pillars are far apart—so offensive Primal spells require exceptionally skillful aiming. And at long range, there is time to see an opponent attack and respond. Because of that, the balance in this arena tilts in favor of counters.

There is a counter for every spell. Counters can be Primal shields, guard spells, strategically deployed offensive spells, quickly cast Artifacts, or timely teleportation. Multiple fully charged Primal spells turn a Chaos Skull back at its caster. A Force Bubble diverts the trajectory of a Disc of Blades. A Dispelling Censer sends Cthulhu’s Tentacles back into the void. Understanding these relationships—and playing to the strengths of each class and Artifact loadout—is the key to transcendent spellcraft.

Duels in Elmhurst Avenue begin with the home pedestal, two flanking positions protected by barricades, and one exposed forward position. A mastery of Primal shield timing and position is critical at the forward pedestal. Long spell volleys happen frequently. Canny magicians observe their opponent’s shield health to exploit a moment of vulnerability, or teleport away just before their own shield shatters.

As the match escalates, the arena grows more vertical; structures crumble to reveal two high-elevation pedestals that offer a dominant vantage point over barricaded enemies. The Summoning Orb materializes very close to these high positions. When the Orb shatters, and its effigy assembled, arcane energies animate a powerful street debris Golem. If the Golem hunts you, may you find a Dark Forge or Dispelling Censer within your grasp. Otherwise the Obelisks that lie beneath Elmhurst Avenue may well mark your grave.

Heed the rules of the Council. Duel with grace. With style. And may the most skillful Spellcaster ascend.

Ever Watching,

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Greetings acolyte,

If you ride the elevator to the top floor of a North Side office tower—and if the sun is in the perfect position, with a sliver of light revealing the shadowy rowhouses below—you can just catch a glimpse of a rooftop garden. Yet if you search for the garden at ground level, you will never find it.

Here, spellcasters duel for supremacy in the shrouded Astor Garden arena! The Council designed this venerable battleground for skillful casting, with destructible trellises and close pedestals for surprise short-range attacks. Beware! Mindful opponents will try to flank you with elevated pedestal positions. And as the duel escalates, plants grow unchecked in the pollen-choked atmosphere, revealing a terrible secret: the malicious Devourer, imprisoned just beyond the veil. Will you unleash it on your opponent? Or will you cower behind a hedgerow as its pods spawn deadly seedlings over your positions?

Duel viciously, but fairly. And may the best arch-mage win.

Ever Watching,

theunspoken-hand-wt

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Greetings Spellcaster,

Open your mind. Can you sense the unrest? Can you feel the struggle of three million burning souls in a city of shattered glass?

These chaotic forces are yours to command as The Anarchist!

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This astral form channels the disorder of the city to cast destructive spells. These Primal Spells are at your fingertips:

  • Manifest a Fireball in your bare hands.
  • Deflect opponent spells with your Arcane shield.

Channel Embers to perform three unique gesture spells:

  • With a push gesture, track your opponent with a deadly and unpredictable Chaos Skull. Push a fast skull, or charge a skull that’s devastatingly massive–skulls distract your opponent while you prepare your next spell, and shatter the shields of inattentive spellcasters. But beware! Their allegiance is fickle. A well-timed fireball can send a Chaos Skull back at its caster.
  • With a volley gesture, summon Pyrotechnics to rain explosive fireworks down on the arena. Pyrotechnics target opponents on any pedestal, countered only by a skillful teleport or a well-placed shield.
  • With the guard gesture, pull glass shards together to protect yourself with a Plate Glass barrier. You’ll be free to charge gesture spells or reach for powerful Artifacts.

Cast these spells together; multiple Chaos Skulls and Pyrotechnics can overwhelm your opponent with multidirectional attacks. You’ll need to channel an Ember to cast each gesture spell, so visualize your strategy and plan ahead.
An all-offense loadout of three Dark Forge spells will give you the power to finish your opponent off while they’re distracted.

Or choose a more tactical loadout; the Clockwork Imp will steal your opponent’s Embers while you’re weaving together a devastating sequence of spells.

Destroy your opponent’s Embers to limit their casting options. An uncast spell needs no counter, and each broken Ember removes a pedestal. Controlling the arena is one key to victory.

But take heed: volatile magic consumes the unwise! Remember your training.

Ever watching,

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Happy Friday, everyone! It’s been a momentous week for Insomniac. Most of you know we just launched Feral Rites, our second virtual reality game on Oculus Rift and the first VR brawler-adventure of its kind.

As we do with all our games, we’ve paid careful attention and responded to player feedback so far. We appreciate the support from everyone who has experienced Feral Rites, and we understand the concerns as well — especially about the game’s price. Effective immediately, the price of Feral Rites is $29.99. The game’s original price was largely based on all the work that went into it. We’re proud that Feral Rites is among the largest VR games of its kind available today.

Oh, and one more thing. You may have seen that the Oculus Fall Sale has begun. Feral Rites is a part of the sale, which means you can buy the game for $9.99 USD through Tuesday, September 20! That’s 66% off! After that point, Feral Rites will return to its $29.99 price point.

For those of you who bought the game at the original price, we’ve worked with Oculus to provide you with the following games for free to thank you for your early support.

  • AirMech Command
  • Damaged Core
  • Defense Grid VR
  • Chronos
  • Edge of Nowhere
  • The Climb

The games should automatically appear in your library by Sunday, September 18. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Oculus support team at support.oculus.com and click on Contact Us.

We deeply appreciate our Community’s passion for all the games we make, even when that feedback is sometimes difficult to hear. We’ll continue to monitor feedback about Feral Rites and Edge of Nowhere — and we cannot wait to show you more spellbinding details about The Unspoken very soon. Please continue to chat with us on Twitter and visit us on Facebook. We love hearing from you!

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Mike Acton is Director, Core at Insomniac Games. He has been with the company since Tools of Destruction, heading up the Insomniac Engine team. Core Dump is a two-day event where we will be sharing in-depth stories from the game-dev front lines along with tangible lessons learned and practical solutions for some of today’s toughest challenges.

Why a Core Dump conference?

Last year I had the pleasure of being part of HandmadeCon and I was impressed by how much useful (or at least interesting) information we were able to share just through a casual conversation. There is a place for the more formal talks at other conferences. But the idea of creating something where our team could share their thoughts on real issues without the constraints of trying to present a “novel” solution (sometimes things are just complicated, not necessarily new), fancy slides or an hour-long lecture format has been percolating in the back of my mind since then.

The fundamental question we’ve been asking is “if someone else was doing this, what would we want to ask them?” I know that if some of the other studios in our area were putting on a similar conference of interviews and panels, we’d definitely be interested. I assumed that’d be true for us as well. The opportunity to ask questions like “How do you divide up your team?” or “How do you review code?” or even “How do you branch and release changes within the studio among different games teams?” is usually limited to the moments we can gather together between lectures at other conferences. And often that’s where the most interesting conversations happen.

On top of that, the barrier to entry in doing a full hour-long presentation at another conference is quite high. For some that might represent between 40-80 hours of preparation through the year in advance. There are people on the team that just aren’t going to be able to make that kind of commitment year after year. And certainly the whole team is never going to be able to do it on any given year. But if we could capture some interesting answers to questions on topics I know the individuals can speak about without preparation (in the same way we all do in those casual meetups), we could create an opportunity for our team to share thoughts that simply would not have been shared otherwise.

It’s not at all obvious that this will work. I’m going to interview everyone on the team. I’m going to moderate panels on subjects where we have something interesting to share. Maybe we fail to come up with good questions. Maybe we can’t direct the discussion toward something that could be a useful takeaway for the audience. But I’m betting on the team. Everyone on the team is a genius and extremely knowledgeable in their areas – I have very little doubt that something interesting will be said by everyone. I am constantly impressed and surprised by the team, so this is my chance to share that particular experience too.

We also take our responsibility to give back and share with the community seriously, and when it’s obvious that The Way Things Are Done get in the way of our ability to do that, we will work around it. Hence, Core Dump.

If you are passionate about game development, specifically engine tech and tools, and love solving meaty problems, please join us at our Burbank studios on August 5-6. All the fine details are linked here. We are capping attendance around 100 and have around 20 seats left.

Eventbrite - Core Dump: Presented by Insomniac Games

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***UPDATE***

The original patch 2 was updated to add additional fixes. Because of that, we are now referring to it as patch 2.5. Patch 2 went live on Steam last Friday, but not on PS4 or Xbox Live. If you have patch 2 on Steam, the first fix in patch 2.5 fixes those people who became stuck in Merrow Ruins.

Additional patch 2.5 fixes include:

  • Fix to statue puzzle doors locking players in some areas
  • Fix to display Icepedo help message
  • Make Bone Vaults Red Reaper chase easier by decreasing their grab radius
  • Fix to The Architect issue where player could get stuck away from their sub
  • Various additional fixes to mirrors getting out of alignment in Deeplight

***Original Post***

First and foremost we would like to thank everyone for playing Song of the Deep! We are thrilled by the love and support we have seen for the game.

Having said that, we realize some of you have been experiencing issues. For that, we apologize. Below is a list of fixes and improvements we are planning to release via a patch on all platforms soon. We expect it to hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One within the next week. Timing may vary per platform.

Overall

  • Fixed rendering issue that resulted in what appears to be stuttering/hitches (PS4/XB1/PC)
  • Improved mouse/keyboard controls (PC)
  • Added additional controller support (PC)*

*If your controller still doesn’t work, please contact us and let us know. We will do our best to add support.

Gameplay

  • Fixed issue where tether mines become invisible when exploding as the player dies
  • Various Fomori Architect boss fixes
  • Fixed issue where various claw switches were not opening doors
  • Fixed issue where one of the triggered doors in Deeplight closes again after getting the Sonar
  • Fixed issue where players could get stuck in the pathway leading up to the Resonance Orb
  • Fixed issue where totem heads could become stuck in collision or lost
  • Fixed issue where specific doors would appear to be destroyed, but players still couldn’t pass
  • Fixed issue in Deeplight where some player’s mirror would not align properly
  • Re-tuned Red Reapers in Bone Vaults to keep them from hitting the player unfairly
  • Improved tether mine behavior in puzzle sections

If after the patch, you find yourself still having any issues, please submit a support request here: http://www.insomniacgames.com/about/contact-us/

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Calling all Achievement and Trophy Hunters! Song of the Deep is out next week in North America and on Steam, and we have a fresh list of objectives for you to obtain. These are available on all platforms. For those of you on Steam, we will also have trading cards, emoticons, and profile backgrounds! Happy hunting!

The Last Merrow (50 points / Bronze)
– Meet the Merrow

Your Watch is Over (50 points / Bronze)
– Defeat the Watcher

Rest in Pieces (50 points / Silver)
– Grab a flower with your claw and drop them on the watcher’s corpse.

Aquatic Laser Show (75 points / Bronze)
-Activate The Deeplight

The Inner Sanctum (75 points / Bronze)
– Commune with the Giant Seahorse

Poor Turtles (100 points / Bronze)
– Defeat the Fomori Boss

Feast for a Queen (100 points / Silver)
– Feed the Queen Leviathan

Merryn and Goliath (100 points / Silver)
– Kill a Tremorclaw Crab as Merryn

Sea Saver (200 points / Silver)
– Destroy the Forbidden City forever

Gearhead (200 points / Gold)
– Purchase all the upgrades from the vendor

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Pre-order Song of the Deep for $14.99 ($29.99 for Collector’s Edition)