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Streaming video games is big business for some. Tyler "Ninja" Blevins reportedly makes $500,000 a month playing Fortnite on Twitch. But for the vast majority of streamers, barely anyone's watching, and precious few are paying. For the vast majority, streaming is a hobby. For others, it's the hope of something bigger - a bigger audience, perhaps, more views, more comments and, of course, more money. So, what's it like being a low-level streamer hoping to hit the big time? How does committing to at least trying to make something out of streaming affect your life, your relationships, your day to day? For 29 year-old Admiral Peach, an Ark fan whose streams get around 20-something concurrent viewers, it's a juggling act. She streamed for 93 hours in the 30 days up to mid July 2018, but she also has a part-time job and a relationship. There's a lot going on. This is her story. You might expect a streamer to have played games their whole life. This isn't the case for Admiral Peach. Though she's now based in Oxfordshire, she's made a few moves over the years, from her birthplace in India, to County Westmeath in Ireland when she was seven. Like many of us, she developed her love of gaming while growing up, but it wasn't from an early age. She remembers looking on enviously for years as her friends got consoles. Eventually, she managed to

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Update, 27/3/18: Ark: Survival Evolved's intriguing Minecraft-like spin-off PixArk is now available in Steam Early Access and on Xbox Game Preview. PixArk aims to offer a dinosaur-themed survival experience similar proper Ark, albeit in a more cheerful, accessible package. Its initial early access release includes crafting and base building, character progression and customisation, procedurally generated worlds and questing, eight biomes, over 100 creatures to tame and ride, a Creative Mode, plus single-player and online multiplayer modes. Developer Snail Games notes that while multiplayer is currently live on Steam, it will launch on Xbox Games Preview in approximately two weeks. Additionally, it says that the final game will include "a great deal more content" compared to the initial early access release, and that the studio will share its development roadmap as work continues. Read more…

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With Aberration, Ark: Survival Evolved's third expansion, now released, developer Wildcard is turning its attention back to the core game, and addressing some of its longest-standing issues. As part of that effort, it's unveiled more details on its long-promised TLC update, designed to beautify, and improve, some of Ark's oldest, and weirdest looking animals. The aim of the multi-part process is, essentially, to add relevance to some of the game's earliest creatures, whose basic functionality has long been superseded by newer, more exciting additions. As a happy bonus, Wildcard is also taking the opportunity to update some of the Ark's older, more rudimentary creature model. Four such creatures will be getting a TLC overhaul as part of Ark's Phase 1 update, which is expected to arrive in the week of February 18th: the Direbear, Procoptodon, Gigantopithecus, Direwolf, and Tyrannosaurus Rex. Wildcard has also shared a few details on Phase 2, which will seek to improve the Argentavis, and Spinosaur among others. Look! Read more…

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PixArk, an official Minecraft-inspired Ark: Survival Evolved spin-off, is heading to Steam Early Access and Xbox Games Preview this March, developer Snail Games has announced. PixArk was unveiled late last year and is the result of a licensing deal with original Ark developer Studio Wildcard. It's an open-world sandbox game that takes the core elements of the main Ark series - survival, dinosaur taming, crafting, base building, and co-operative tribe living - and re-assembles them as a more casual, Minecraft-esque experience. According to its Steam Early Access page, PixArk will feature a robust character creator and progression system (complete with skill trees and customisable stats), a voxel block building system, procedurally generated quests, an "infinite number" of voxel based maps featuring deserts, jungles, caves, and more, plus 100 voxel-ized Ark creatures to tame, train, and ride. Read more…

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Ark: Survival Evolved has finally arrived on the Windows 10 store and as an Xbox Play Anywhere title, so if you bought the game digitally on Xbox One, you also already own it on Windows 10. Two versions for the price of one, basically. Being Xbox Play Anywhere also means paraphernalia such as saved games, add-on content and achievements go with you as you hop between versions. Also the two multiplayer communities - Windows 10 and Xbox One - can play together. Ark recently launched an Aberration expansion pack which, among many other things, has an enemy that can impregnate you! But if that's not your cup of tea, the new underground biome has plenty more treats in store, including loads of new beasties, equipment and adventures. Read more…

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