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One of the best titles on Apple Arcade got even better this week as Capybara added a massive update to its addictive puzzle game “Grindstone.” Now players can take the warrior Jorj through 50 new “cave” levels that can be found throughout the campaign. It also features five new gold item blueprints, a new pickaxe and a Gold Rush Garb.

Those type upgrades have become expected for “Grindstone” over the past few months, but the big upgrade is a Daily Grind Mode that nudges players to score their highest and get on a leaderboard.

“We always wanted to do a daily mode for some time,” said Dan Vader, designer/director at Capy. “It’s been a plan from the beginning.”

He said it was the studio’s first attempt at the feature, and one that was meant to encourage frequent interaction as players try to top each on the leaderboard. In addition, the team designed the updated content so that it isn’t locked away in the end game. Vader said, “We didn’t want to restrict players, so we sprinkled levels” through the campaign. Players have to find them and get the gear.

That exploration is also tied to the type of gear being introduced with the update. As mentioned before, Jorj will have a pickaxe this time around, and he will use it to mine for the new gold resource. Gold is used to get favorite items “goldified” (Vader’s words not mine). Gold items are more durable and can be used more frequently.

The desire for gold “pivots the challenge to levels,” according to Vader, and sheds a new light on them. Now, players may want to mine for gold instead of other resources.

Interestingly enough, Capy’s biggest update to “Grindstone” was built entirely during the coronavirus pandemic, when the office had to close and developers worked from home.
“Right when we vacated the studio, we knew we had work to do,” Vader said. The update “helped us keep our head down. It made us feel normal. It was a life raft.”

What surprised the studio about the process is how well it worked. Vader said working from home made the team more organized and it was better than what he was expecting. That sentiment was also expressed by Striking Distance Studios chief Glen Schofield.

Gaming itself has become a respite for many amid the constant coronavirus news. Players have found mental relief through games such as “Grindstone” as they abide by shelter-in-place orders. Vader says it’s gratifying to hear how the projects his studio produces helps people. He said friends text him about how “Grindstone” is a welcome distraction from the day, and with the daily grind mode, players have more reasons to pick up the game and play.

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TCS Covid-19 Positive Case Update

Trion City Schools says that it has come to their attention that one of their athletes or staff members has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter sent home to parents the following information was provided:

“The infected person started showing symptoms following a scheduled outside workout activity. This person was not within 6 feet of any individual continuously for more than 15 minutes as required by the CDC recommendations nor was he present in the locker rooms or other indoor facilities that day. Therefore, we do not feel that any of our athletes are at a high risk of being infected. However, we will follow necessary procedures to keep our other athletes and staff as safe as possible.”

The infected individual is required to be quarantined for 14 days OR until proof of a negative test can be provided.

Over the next 14 days TCS will be monitoring each individual on the team very closely. There will be increased temperature checks along with more stringent cleaning procedures according to the letter.

The increased cleaning protocols and procedures include but are not limited to:

  • Everyone will be temperature screened
  • Hand sanitizer will be required to be used
  • All equipment will be sanitized at the end of each use
  • Masks are recommended but not required to be worn in indoor facilities like locker rooms
  • Social distancing guidelines will be adhered to strictly whenever possible
  • Locker rooms and equipment will be fogged daily using a sanitizing fogger


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