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WTF Happened April 2024

Wed, 01 May 2024, by Syrsly

This is the first recap post, affectionately titled "WTF Happened," so hey, Syrsly here! This is a monthly news post of sorts. I'll use these recaps to briefly cover cool, exciting and also bad events in my personal life and in society in general. I'll cover things like world news, movies, TV shows, tech, VR, personal projects, cool game releases, and anything I find out during the month that I personally think is worth mentioning.

Let's start with the sad news...

  1. Gaza protests on U.S. campuses.
  2. Age verification laws began picking up traction in a lot of states.
  3. Adobe discontinued support for license reactivations for CS6 and under.
  4. Dreamteck canceled hoverboard game kickstarter!
  5. Ow! My thumb! (I cut myself.)

There were numerous reportings of campuses across the United States having protests about the Israel-Gaza war. I didn't really follow this closely, but it was very noteworthy as a pretty big nationwide movement... even if it is short-lived and doesn't really go far enough to accomplish much. I would take everything I say on this matter with a grain of salt since I have no investment in the war or the campuses or the students. Still, it was a noteworthy event and sparked additional discussion about the war, which is probably a good thing. The sad thing about this is it doesn't fix anything. They're also not all peaceful protests, some of them being downright aggressive.

I'm a web developer, so I'm exposed to a lot of crazy laws most people will never even be aware of. There are laws right now which require some states' people to verify their age to view sites "harmful to minors", which was very loose phasing but was pushed as a way to regulate pornography. Unfortunately, because we're playing fast and loose with the law, this ruling is bleeding over into other potentially "harmful to minors" content, like social media and weapon sales. Some may think of this as a victory, but it's never a victory to add regulations to the internet. We're taking away what made the internet so great in the first place: freedom and anonymity. Anyway, I suspect we're going to start seeing a ton of age verification pop-ups very soon.

Adobe's greed has been apparent for quite a while, but I was under the security blanket of being a past CS5.5 and CS6 Master Collection customer. I went to reinstall CS6 earlier this month for some upcoming animation projects and learned, after a day of troubleshooting and contacting Adobe support directly, that I couldn't activate the software! I had a choice to make: I either buy CC or pirate the software... or find an alternative that isn't a subscription. I opted to learn how Blender 2d animation works, buy Moho Pro 12.5 via Humble Bundle for $25 in case I need something else, and keep an eye on a promising, upcoming tool called AnimatorME. I tried other FOSS solutions, including Synfig and OpenToonz, but nothing worked as intended and I couldn't get OpenToonz to even load on my Windows 10 PC.

I really want @adobesucks to make a comeback, but after well over a decade of inactivity, I honestly don't expect that.

For those of you who may suggest pirating Adobe products, I give you this manifesto by another Twitter user... because I think it sums up my stance on the matter. There are better alternatives out there for cheaper, so in protest to Adobe, I'm never using Flash again. I personally already moved on from Adobe's other products years ago.

Dreamteck, a company well known for their Unity assets which they also recently made free, recently announced cancelation of their Kickstarter campaign for their upcoming game, Overrider. It's unclear whether the actual game project is going to see the light of day or not, but they had a demo out there recently if anyone wants to give it a try: Steam store page.

I also cut the tip of my thumb. It hurt a lot!
I'm mostly OK now, but my thumb is going to be black for a while.

Now for the good news!

  1. I started WTF Happened! ;)
  2. Roboquest got a big update, adding tons more weapons to the game!
  3. Valheim Ashlands released in a test branch on Steam!
  4. Lots of great new games (as always)!
  5. Game engine updates galore! NeoAxis 2024.1 released! Unreal Engine 5.4! Flax 1.8!
  6. 2.0 released!
  7. Fallout TV show aired on Amazon Prime all at once!
  8. Upcoming Golden Axe animated series announced!

Roboquest is one of my favorite games of recent years. I return to it every few months since its initial 2020 Steam Early Access release. It had its 1.0 release last year. It got a massive update this month with new weapons. Go check it out!

Valheim's another game I keep coming back to. I'm running a vanilla server right now to try to finally beat the game before the new content, and we've gotten very close to beating the final boss of the Mistlands, but it looks like we're going to fail our goal by a tiny margin. Valheim's Ashlands update has released on a test branch already! I'll play the new content as soon as I can after it gets to the main branch. Check out the game's store page if you haven't played it yet!

Every month comes with some amazing new game releases. April 2024 is no exception. This month featured Content Warning, No Rest For The Wicked, Contractors Showdown, Sker Ritual, Manor Lords, Whitewater VR: Extreme Kayaking Adventure, and Hoversteppers to name a few highlights. Content Warning was free for April Fools as a release day special sale, and that giveaway helped launch it into viral stardom. Because I just started playing it a couple days ago and this recap series is new, I figured it was only fair to also mention Penny's Big Breakaway, a great new 3d platformer collectathon with a ton of charm.

I tried Manor Lords via Game Pass, and it kind of disappointed me. It was nowhere near a playable state in my opinion. I would wait for a 1.0 release before bothering to play it.

I would like to try No Rest For The Wicked and Sker Ritual someday soon. If you played either of them, let me know what you think of them. In the meantime, I have plenty to play for the foreseeable future. :)

The Base Mesh 2.0 was released. Not much I can say about this resource yet since I haven't used it at all, but the model library, which is all CC0, looks incredible, so I figured I'd mention it. Give it a look!

Lots of notable game engine updates this month! Most will have heard about Unreal Engine 5.4 by now, but there are some other engines receiving hefty updates as well. NeoAxis 2024.1 came out with a ton of changes. Flax Engine 1.8 released with many changes and a new UI editor.

The Fallout TV show aired on Amazon Prime all at once and was met with a mostly positive reception! I liked it myself, and it definitely brought a lot of new players to the game franchise. According to Chris Kerr of, who in turn was using Variety as a source, season 1 got over 65M viewers in its first 2 weeks, which made it the second most watched series on the Amazon Prime Video platform. Season 2 for the TV show has been secured. I look forward to seeing season 2, but I fear it will not receive the same level of hype as the first season no matter what.

Per a Variety news post, I heard about Mike McMahan's upcoming Golden Axe animated series adaptation based on the SEGA classic video game. You may know McMahan's work as creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks. 10 episodes were ordered for Comedy Central. No air date announced yet.

Blender and Game Dev Asset Highlights

This month, the main Blender add-on I've had my sights on was released 6 days before this post: Lazy Bones. I've always had trouble with rigging in Blender, so anything that can simplify even part of the process is worth a few dollars. Lazy Bones uses decimation and a few other modifiers to auto-rig a model based on its topology and volume.

There's also another Blender add-on I found a day earlier called Humanify. It basically creates skin textures and shaders for your humanoid characters. I'll probably get this someday because I don't know a lot about making such textures and have always stuck with flat-looking, anime style skin. It might be nice to add some realism to some of my characters.

Okay! That is all I got for the first "WTF Happened" post. I'll see you all again in a month.

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