Final Fantasy XV Day One Patch Details Revealed; Suggests Game on Disc Is Incomplete

Final Fantasy XV Day One Patch Details Revealed; Suggests Game on Disc Is Incomplete
HIGHLIGHTS
The day one patch of Final Fantasy XV introduces gameplay features
It has a download size of around 7GB
Final Fantasy XV’s official release date is November 29
Final Fantasy XV had an early release date which saw eager gamers finish the game, some of whom have posted its ending on YouTube. Spoilers aside, early players have noted that the game has a day one patch that is already live.

Additions to the game include “new items and cutscenes”, “cutscene adjustments”, and “deeper combat, driving, and other game mechanics”. All of this implies that the game on disc isn’t as complete as Square Enix would like us to believe. After all, when the game’s release date was pushed back, game director Hajime Tabata stated that there would be no patch required to play the game.

(Also see: Final Fantasy XV Has an Early Release Date, Ending Streamed on YouTube)

ffxv day one patch FFXV_day_one_patch

“The disc that is going on sale on the 29th of November will contain everything scheduled to be on the day one patch, as well as some extra things on top of that,” he said at the time. “So we will be delivering what we consider to be the ultimate quality version of FFXV to all the players who play without connecting online as well.”
However this does not seem to be the case. According to a press release from publisher Square Enix obtained by SiliconEra, Final Fantasy XV’s day one patch, or Crown Update as the company is calling it, appears to be rather substantial, and crucial to the experience.

Final Fantasy XV day one patch details:
• Camera improvements will make it easier to track action going on in narrow areas.
• The new “Wait Mode” function (makes it so the game automatically waits when you stop command inputs) will get an ability tree for more in-depth strategic elements.
• A “Monster Whistle” that can be used to call out monsters will be added.
• New event scenes from Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and “Omen” trailer will be added.
• Recipes and fish varieties, as well as a gallery, will be added for players who enjoy collecting items.
• Social network function will be added, allowing players to upload Prompto’s photographs to Facebook and Twitter.

(Also see: Final Fantasy XV Release Date Delayed. Here’s Why.)

Also there’s the message from director Hajime Tabata addressing the Final Fantasy XV street date break:

“We are nearing the release date of November 29. I’m wishing from the bottom of my heart that everyone will get to enjoy the game with a fresh new feeling. However, we’ve confirmed that some packages of Final Fantasy XV have been released around some parts of the world, with gameplay videos being uploaded to the Internet. This may be inevitable due to regional circumstances, but it’s something we regret very much.”

“It’s our big goal to have everyone enjoy the story of Final Fantasy XV and discover its surprises through the simultaneous global release. There are likely other spoiler videos and such circulating out there that we had not expected, so for those of you looking forward to Final Fantasy XV, we hope that you’ll be careful.”

“We are doing everything we can to prevent the circulation of the spoiler videos. For those of you that received the game earlier, please keep those who’ve waited a long time for the game in consideration. In order to meet the best possible release date with everybody, we ask for your understanding and cooperation.”

Tags: PS4, Xbox One, Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy 15, FFXV, FF15, Final Fantasy XV day one patch, Final Fantasy 15 day one patch, FF15 day one patch, Final Fantasy XV ending, Final Fantasy XV crown update

[“source-ndtv”]

Oculus Rift Will Get Xbox One Game Streaming Support on December 12

Oculus Rift Will Get Xbox One Game Streaming Support on December 12

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app available December 12
  • While Rift works on Windows 7 and above, the app is for Windows 10 only
  • Titles include Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4

Microsoft has announced that you will soon be able to stream Xbox One games from your console to Oculus Rift on Windows 10 PCs with the help of a new app – Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app.

“The new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app connects to your Xbox One via your home network,” Kevin Unangst, senior director of global marketing at Xbox, said in an official blog post. “Once connected, your console’s video output is streamed to your Rift headset and projected onto a massive screen in your choice of one of three immersive VR environments: ‘Citadel’, ‘Retreat’ and ‘Dome’.”

If you’re wondering what’s the need for “immersive VR environments”, that’s because your Xbox One games aren’t capable of naturally adapting to Rift’s 360-degree view. Project Scorpio, the confirmed 4K-and-high-end-VR upgrade to the Xbox One, isn’t out until fall 2017, so you’ll have to wait a bit to see if your Rift is supported by Project Scorpio, or Microsoft chooses to build its own native VR hardware. The latter approach would be a shift in how the company is approaching VR headsets for Windows 10, but then again the Xbox division has always built its own hardware.

While a full list of games isn’t available, Microsoft said that you’ll be able to stream the likes of Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo 5: Guardians, “biggest sports games”, “indie darlings”, and even some backward compatible Xbox 360 titles. Microsoft also wants potential Rift buyers to know that every Rift purchase comes with a free Xbox wireless controller – a nudge of sorts towards consumers to pick up an Xbox One S during the holidays if they are jumping onto the VR bandwagon – unlike the Oculus Touch controllers that cost $199 (about Rs. 13,600) on top of the Rift’s own $599 (about Rs. 41,000) price point.The Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app will be available for free in the Oculus Store on December 12, Microsoft said, and more titles will be added in the coming year. Hopefully, someone at Microsoft can use the next two weeks to come up with a better name for the app.

Tags: Oculus Rift, Xbox One, Windows 10
[“source-ndtv”]

Steam Black Friday 2016 Sale: GTA V, Skyrim, and More PC Game Deals

Steam Black Friday 2016 Sale: GTA V, Skyrim, and More PC Game Deals

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Steam Black Friday sale ends on November 29
  • Games on discount include indie classics like Undertale
  • There is one discounted price per game for the duration of the sale

Earlier in the week we reported that Steam’s Black Friday sale will take place place from November 23 onwards. This has now been confirmed with the site itself replete with offers for the season. Dubbed as the Steam Autumn sale, here’s what you should check out.

(Also see:  The Steam Black Friday Sale Is Here and This Time It’s Different)

Best Steam Black Friday deals

  • GTA V: this open-world crime classic is now Rs.1,468, a whole 50 percent cheaper than what it normally costs, making it well worth buying.
  • Undertale: last year’s indie darling is a steal at Rs. 184, half price from what it is usually. A great game that runs on almost any PC configuration.
  • Quantum Break: this one time Xbox One and Windows 10 PC exclusive is now on Steam with some interesting optimisations for PCs to boot. Well worth the Rs. 636 price of entry.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight: although your mileage in terms of performance will vary, Rocksteady’s last open-world adventure starring the caped crusader demands consideration at Rs.949.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: perhaps not as souped up as the recently released Skyrim Special Edition, it has the flexibility of extended mod support. After all, at Rs. 186 you’d be foolish not to check it out.

While these deals are great, Steam may not be the cheapest option. This holds true for games from publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft who have their own digital distribution services. Also, if you can’t pick up anything during the current sale, don’t worry. There will be a Winter sale as well which should take place from December 22 to January 1.

Tags: Cheap Games, Cheap PC Games, PC Games, Steam Black Friday Sale, Valve, Steam Discounts, Steam Winter Sale, Black Friday 2016, Black Friday 2016 Steam Sale, Steam Autumn Sale, Steam Sale, GTA V, Undertale, Batman Arkham Knight, Skyrim,Quantum Break
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Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers

outliers book

There are people who succeed at something and there are those whose success turns everyday people into superheroes. We call these people “outliers”, a term from the field of statistics and popularized by author Malcolm Gladwell. Outliers are things (people, data points, numbers) that lie far outside the realm of what you would expect. Figuring out what “ingredients” propelled these six extraordinarily successful women into outlier status is the singular focus of Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers.

What Ingredients of Outliers Is About

Ingredients of Outliers is an ongoing book series by Dr. John Shufeldt focused on finding the special “ingredients” behind extraordinarily successful people (“outliers”). This book from that series, in particular, focuses on the unique challenges encountered and transformed by women into powerful levers of success. Six women are featured in interviews, all of whom chartered new levels of excellence in several professional fields (medicine, law, literature, etc.) .Following each interview, the reader is given some words of advice gleaned from the interviews, followed by a list of resources for further information.

The interviews, however, are the central focus of the book and deserve the most attention because they demonstrate (rather than just point out in neat bullet points) how messy success really is. The interviews also brilliantly show the motivation behind each woman’s rise to outlier status.

Through each interview, readers get a glimpse of how and why these women felt compelled to achieve their success.One particularly striking interview featured Sharon Guynup, TEDx speaker and documentary creator, who shared her disappointment when a professor told her she would never become a writer because of “her background”. Readers also get to see how even seemingly simple decisions (like, “Hey, I could do that”) catapulted Marsha Ternus to become the first woman to serve in Iowa’s supreme court after working a dead-end job at a bank.

Dr. John Shufeldt is a multi-talented and multi-career professional who dedicates himself to one field of study every 10 years. In 1986, he earned his MD degree. In 1995, he earned his MBA. In 2005, he earned his law degree. Currently, he runs Shufeldt Consulting, MeMD, and the Urgent Care Integrated Network.

What Was Best About This Book

The best part about this book in the Ingredients of Outliers series is the unique perspective and power of the women in the interviews. The interviews, while brief, are inspirational and highly motivating. The fact that Dr. Shufeldt interviews these women while they are still achieving success is also noteworthy. Readers get a sense that there is more to come from these women.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

If you are reading this book from the perspective of “I want to pick up a few tips on how to be better”, this book won’t be your cup of tea. There isn’t a step-by-step guide in this book or coherent set of principles. Each interviewee offers a different perspective and different tips. If you’re looking to gather inspiration from extraordinary professionals from different fields, this book might be just for you.

Why Read This Book

As shared above, Ingredients of Outliers: Women Game Changers is about inspiration. It’s about finding the strength to pursue a college degree even though you left high school or to go on into public service when your dreams of another kind may have ended. The book offers readers a chance to think outside the box and beyond their obstacles in a new way.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

NFL Cancels First Game of the Year Due to Taffy-Like Field Conditions (Watch)

Imagine a bunch of NFL players running around on a field made of taffy. That was almost the case this Sunday during the league’s annual Hall of Fame Game, the traditional kickoff to pre-season football.

The unfortunate field conditions came as a result of using the wrong paint. And so the field became gummy and sticky as it dried. But instead of allowing the players to put on a comical but potentially dangerous show, the NFL cancelled the game.

It’s not an ideal situation for any business. If the NFL is a brand, each game is its product. So cancelling the very first one of the season doesn’t give a great early impression to fans.

But making a great first impression, while important, isn’t the end-all-be-all for brands. If the NFL had allowed the game to continue with those field conditions, players might have been injured. Then the NFL would be delivering a subpar product during the rest of the season, as opposed to just putting off the first game by a few days and actually doing it right.

Always Consider the Implication of a GO NO GO Decision

The next time your business is considering releasing a product before it’s really ready just to meet a deadline, consider the consequences. If it could hurt your chances of delivering a great customer experience going forward, it might be worth putting it off.

NFL Football Photo via Shutterstock

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Intuit’s Dan Wernikoff Talks Small Business Big Game

dan-wernikoff

At this point the next Super Bowl is almost a year away. But Intuit is gearing up for the big game just the same.

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Intuit’s Small Business Group Dan Wernikoff took the opportunity during National Small Business Week to share why.

The now famous QuickBooks Small Business Big Game contest begins June 1 with companies submitting their stories for a chance to win a coveted commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl produced by Intuit.

The benefits a small business can gain from such exposure should be obvious.

“Toymaker startup GoldieBlox from Oakland, California, won the contest, with Intuit creating a television spot — ‘Come on Bring the Toys’ — that reached more than 100 million viewers during the broadcast,” Wernikoff told Small Business Trends in an email interview.

“This exposure provided a boost to GoldieBlox, which has gone on to launch three new games and a new mobile app,”he added

Here’s a look at the commercial the company created:

Commercials like this cost between $4 to $4.5 million.

But the benefits weren’t limited to the winner.

“The three finalists also saw big benefits from increased exposure: One company saw a 300 percent in feed sales and 100 percent increase in T-shirt sales; another finalist’s revenue increased 132 percent, and they are about to hire their first employee, and another company’s sales increased more than 500 percent, from 250 bags (of their product) for their first six months to 800 bags a day!” Wernikoff added.

The contest is judged by the public and Intuit employees. But Wernikoff shares some insight about what goes into a winning submission.

“The best evidence of what makes for a winning submission comes from the inaugural Small Business Big Game contest finalists,” he explains. “More than 15,000 small businesses entered the first Small Business Big Game contest in 2013, and 2.3 million votes were cast as people across the country supported their favorite company.”

“Each of the four finalists had very different kinds of businesses — from a toy company to a maker of natural dairy compost. But the one thing that all finalists shared was a passion for their business, a commitment to their community, and a determination to make a difference.”

Of course, Intuit’s history of assisting small businesses reaches back much farther than the well-publicized contest.

The company first introduced its Quicken personal finance software to American households looking for a helping hand in balancing their checkbooks back in 1983.

Today, businesses handle their payroll, inventory and sales using Intuit’s QuickBooks software. Companies and individuals can avoid costly visits to tax preparers by using TurboTax. And bills can be paid all in one place instead of on individual websites with the help of Mint software.

“Our aim is to create products that make it easier for small businesses to run their operations,” Wernikoff explained.

“QuickBooks Online provides a simple, integrated view of how money flows in and out of a business,” he added. “Instead of spending time trying to reconcile old bills, small business owners can focus on the things that made them passionate about being their own boss in the first place.”

Wernikoff says the company’s growing list of services is all focused on helping small business owners and entrepreneurs face a unique set of challenges.

“We recognize that being a small business owner is really tough work,” he explains. “The days are long, there’s never enough time, and the work can be lonely. So, we’re committed to making products that help more small businesses to find long-term success.”

To learn more about the Quickbooks Small Business Big Game contest visit here.

Image: Dan Wernikoff, LinkedIn

More in: SMB Week

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Google’s DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game Starcraft

Google's DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game StarcraftGoogle’s DeepMind, Master of Go, Takes on Popular Video Game Starcraft
Google’s DeepMind AI unit, which earlier this year achieved a breakthrough in computer intelligence by creating software that beat the world’s best human player at the strategy game Go, is turning its attention to the sci-fi video game Starcraft II.

The company said it had reached a deal with Blizzard Entertainment Inc, the Irvine, California-based division of Activision Blizzard, which makes the Starcraft game series, to create an interface to let artificial intelligence researchers connect machine-learning software to the game.

London-based DeepMind, which Google purchased in 2014, has not said it has created software that can play Starcraft expertly – at least not yet. “We’re still a long way from being able to challenge a professional human player,” DeepMind research scientist Oriol Vinyals said in a blog post Friday. But the company’s announcement shows it’s looking seriously at Starcraft as a candidate for a breakthrough in machine intelligence.

Starcraft fascinates artificial intelligence researchers because it comes closer to simulating “the messiness of the real world” than games like chess or Go, Vinyals said. “An agent that can play Starcraft will need to demonstrate effective use of memory, an ability to plan over a long time and the capacity to adapt plans to new information,” he said, adding that techniques required to create a machine-learning system that mastered these skills in order to play Starcraft “could ultimately transfer to real-world tasks.”
Virtual mining
In the game, which is played in real-time over the internet, players choose one of three character types, each of which has distinct strengths and weaknesses. Players must run an in-game economy, discovering and mining minerals and other commodities in order to conquer new territory. A successful player needs to remember large volumes of information about places they’ve scouted in the past, even when those places are not immediately observable on their screen.

The player’s view of what an opposing player is doing is limited – unlike chess or Go where opponents can observe the whole board at one time. Furthermore, unlike in a game where players take turns, a machine-learning system has to deal with an environment that is constantly in flux. Starcraft in particular also requires an ability to plan both a long-term strategy and make very quick tactical decisions to stay ahead of an opponent – and designing software that is good at both types of decision-making is difficult.
Facebook, Microsoft
Researchers at Facebook and Microsoft have also published papers on ways to interface artificial intelligence systems with earlier versions of Starcraft. And some Starcraft-playing bots have already been created, but so far these systems have not been able to defeat talented human players.

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella has taken swipes at Google’s focus on games in its AI research, telling the audience at a company event in Atlanta in September that Microsoft was “not pursuing AI to beat humans at games” and that Microsoft wanted to build AI “to solve the most pressing problems of our society and economy.”

Games have long-served as important tests and milestones for artificial intelligence research. In the mid-1990s, International Business Machines Corp.’s supercomputer Deep Blue defeated world chess champion Garry Kasparov on several occasions. IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence beat top human players in the game show Jeopardy in 2011, an achievement that showcased IBM’s strides in natural language processing. In 2015, DeepMind developed machine learning software that taught itself how to play dozens of retro Atari games, such as Breakout, as well or better than a human. Then, in March of 2016, DeepMind’s Alpha Go program, trained in a different way, defeated Go world champion Lee Sodol.

In the twenty years since Starcraft debuted, the game has acquired a massive and devoted following. More than 9.5 million copies of the original game were sold within the first decade of its release, with more than half of those being sold in Korea, where the game was especially popular. Starcraft II shattered sales records for a strategy game when it was released in 2010, selling 1.5 million copies within 48 hours. Pitting two players against one another in real-time, Starcraft was a pioneer in professional video game competitions and remains an important game in the world of e-sports, although its prominence has since been eclipsed by other games.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

Tags: Google, DeepMind, Artificial Intelligence, AI, Gaming, Starcraft

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Candy Crush Creator Launches Live Multiplayer Card Game ‘Shuffle Cats’ for Android, iOS

Candy Crush Creator Launches Live Multiplayer Card Game 'Shuffle Cats' for Android, iOSCandy Crush Creator Launches Live Multiplayer Card Game ‘Shuffle Cats’ for Android, iOS
HIGHLIGHTS
Shuffle Cats allows you to play rummy on mobile
It enables you to play with other players across the world in real-time
The game is created by Candy Crush maker King
King.com, the company behind the famous Candy Crush game on mobile, has now released a new game for Android and iOS users. Shuffle Cats is a live multiplayer card game that allows you to play rummy real-time with other players across regions.

Shuffle Cats brings the traditional card game rummy on smartphones. It allows players from across borders to play with each other (this means that the app will use data), and compete in the game of cards.

As the name suggests, the characters in the game are all inspired by the feline species, with names like ‘Montie’ to boast. Just like rummy, you’ve got to meld pairs or runs to win the game, and earn points to level up. Each player is rewarded with 1000 gems at first, and to go up each level, a player has to give up a stack of his gem treasure. Whichever player wins, takes the gems along with them, while the other loses his stack. Just like all games, as you level up, the game keeps getting harder and more competitive.

Each player also has a set of Lucky Charms that he can use to boost his chances against an opponent while playing a crucial game. Users can even interact with players using the live chat option inside the game.
Apart from this new Shuffle Cats game, the Candy Crush creator is also reportedly working on a mobile shooter game, and was even looking for employing people for the same.

Shuffle Cats is available for download for free on the App Store and Google Play. The game is 109MB in size on the App Store, and 61MB on Google Play. Shuffle Cats includes in-app purchases.

Tags: Shuffle Cats, Gaming, Apps, Shuffle Cats for Android, Shuffle Cats for iOS, Andorid, Apple

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Google Launches Android Game That Lets You Explore the Himalayas in 3D

Google Launches Android Game That Lets You Explore the Himalayas in 3D

HIGHLIGHTS

  • It allows users to visit the Himalayan region
  • The app is built using Google’s 3D Maps imagery
  • It works only on smartphones running on Android 4.4 KitKat and above

Niantic, when it was a startup within Google, leveraged Google Maps as well as crowdsourced data to build the location-based app Field Trip and augmented reality game Ingress, before being spun off last year. Since then, the company has become a household name thanks to the runaway success of Pokemon Go, another location-based AR game. Now Google, leveraging its 3D mapping data, has launched its own experimental location-based game for children called Verne: The Himalayas.

The game essentially lets users roam about the Himalayas alongside a 500-foot Yeti called Verne. The game is only released for Android users, and is now available on Google Play for free. Built using Google’s 3D Maps imagery, the game lets users explore the Himalayas as the character Verne, run atop Mt. Everest, hang glide, ride a jetpack, skate across icy lakes, chase an argali goat, and even bang a gong.

As Verne moves along; famous points, landmarks and regions are highlighted within the app educating users about the geography. Very few get the privilege to explore the Himalayas, and with this app, Google looks to bring that exploration experience to the smartphone in an interactive manner.

In its blog post introducing the game, the Google Maps team said, “For years, Google Maps has been adding 3D imagery from all over the world – New York City, the Grand Canyon, Mont Blanc, and more. A few of us started wondering if this 3D imagery could make learning about the world a bit more fun for kids. We started playing with quick prototypes, and even brainstormed with our own kids to get inspired by their sense of curiosity. Our idea became a new, experimental app called Verne: The Himalayas. [..] We’re excited to share it today as a fun way for anyone to take a summer trip to the tallest mountain range in the world.”

For now, the game only focuses on visiting the Himalayan region and learning more about it, but we expect Google to release more games highlighting other famous regions across the globe in the future. Verne: The Himalyas app is 213MB in size and works only on smartphones running on Android 4.4 KitKat and above. There is no word on availability for iOS devices.

The Pokemon Go game managed to become an instant success because of its recall value of the famous Pokemon series, and its interactive gameplay. The game was downloaded more than 10 million times within a week of its release in July, becoming the fastest such app to do so.

Share a screenshot and win Samsung smartphones worth Rs. 90,000 by participating in the #BrowseFaster contest.

Tags: Apps, Google Play Store, Google. Android, Verne: The Himalayas, Verne: The Himalayas Download

[“Source-Gadgets”]

EA Posts Unexpected Profit on Higher Game Downloads

EA Posts Unexpected Profit on Higher Game Downloads

Video-game publisher Electronic Arts Inc, known for titles such as FIFA and Star Wars Battlefront, reported an unexpected first-quarter profit, helped by higher downloads of its games.

The company’s digital business, where players download digital versions of games, generates higher margins than sales of physical discs.

EA’s shares initially rose about 2.5 percent in extended trading, before reversing course to trade down 1.5 percent as the company’s current-quarter revenue forecast was slightly below analysts’ estimates.

The company forecast revenue of about $1.08 billion (roughly Rs. 7,212 crores), including a change in deferred revenue from online-based games. Analysts were expecting $1.11 billion (roughly Rs. 7,412 crores), according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

EA is releasing its latest FIFA game four days before the September-quarter ends, while it stops accounting for revenue from its digital business about five days before the quarter ends, Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said in an interview.

Jorgensen estimated digital sales from the latest FIFA game would have pulled in about $75 million (roughly Rs. 500 crores) in revenue, which the company will now recognise in the third quarter.

x

However, strong digital sales, particularly of FIFA Ultimate Team on console and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes on mobile, boosted EA’s results in the first quarter, a seasonally slow period for the company.

EA’s adjusted revenue fell 1.6 percent to about $682 million in the three months ended June 30. On an adjusted basis, EA earned 7 cents per share.

Analysts on average were expecting a loss of 2 cents per share and revenue of $650.7 million.

Adjusted sales from EA’s digital business rose 6.8 percent to about $568 million and accounted for 83.3 percent of total revenue.

Starting from this quarter, EA will stop reporting non-GAAP measures that adjust for deferred revenue, as it has done since fiscal 2008, to comply with stricter guidelines by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Apps, EA, Electronic Sports, FIFA, Gaming, Star Wars

 

[“Source-Gadgets”]