Wednesday March 5th, 2014
| Last November ahead of the title’s release, Sony wrote in a blog post that Killzone Shadow fall features a “competitive multiplayer mode” that supports up to 24 players and “runs at native 1080p and 60 fps.” As it turns out, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Killzone: Shadow Fall outputs at 1080p in single-player and multiplayer, but it isn’t native. It uses a unique processing method that blends 960 x 1080 images together. Therefore, the 1080p advertised on the box isn’t inaccurate. Sony’s imprecise marketing is still valid, though.
I couldn't give two **** about console game res, if it looks good like Ryse, I don't care if its not 1080P.
However, to see all the constant bashing on Xbox One for not having enough 1080P games, coming from Sony themselves even, to now find out that Sony is lying about the resolution of their games. But because its Sony, people aren't going to care, and this will pass over and be forgotten in no time.
Posted By Cecil @ 6:13 PM
Thursday February 27th, 2014
| Silicon giant, Intel, introduced a pair of new gaming-targeted solid state drives today, the 730 series. The new SSDs ship factory overclocked and use Intel's third-generation controller technology, which the company claims is derived from its high-end data center solutions offering transfer speeds of up to 550MBps and IOPs random reads of 89,000. In layman's terms, the new drives are theoretically capable of copying and access data at a rate higher than the average consumer-grade SSD. Intel has touted the drives' applications for gaming and video capture and editing, particularly when utilized in multi-drive RAID-0 configurations. Most importantly, Intel says the 730 SSDs are built to last with an estimated life expectancy of 50GBs worth of writes every day for five years.
The 730 series will launch in two configurations — a 240GB model and a 480GB model — though pricing has not been specified. Intel representatives estimate that costs will be about $1 per gigabyte. Gaming PC maker Origin PC has announced that it will be offering the 730 series SSDs in its notebooks and desktop PCs as pre-orders today. Both drives ship this month and we'll be running tests to see how well the drives perform, including when utilized in the PS4, so stay tuned for updates.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 5:16 PM
Wednesday February 26th, 2014
| The new engine for Dark Souls II was created with next-gen consoles in mind. During a trip to From Software’s office in Tokyo that resulted in our Making Dark Souls 2 feature, the game’s programmers explained to IGN how Dark Souls II is the studio’s first step into the future of console and PC gaming.
“We always had in mind the next generation, such as DirectX11 and next generation hardware when creating our technology, and also challenged ourselves as programmers to simultaneously create for the new generation,” explained Ando-san, a programmer at From Software.
While the Souls series is known for its nightmarish creatures and scenarios, the developers still wanted to keep the design somewhat grounded in reality. As he explained, “The thing we prioritized when re-creating our engine was, as a concept, taking the graphics to a more photo-realistic look, and in order to fulfill this, we had decided to discard our old engine and create a new one.”
Ando elaborated, “Some of the things we prioritized when creating the engine was actively take in new technology such as deferred rendering and physical-based rendering to increase the flexibility of graphic creation, and really pursue the photo-realism and lighting.”
We also sat down with Suzuki-san, another programmer on Dark Souls II. When asked about what it’s like to build a game at the tail-end of a console generation, he explained, “I don't really think about the end of the current generation console. However, I did prioritize bringing in new technology and techniques. For instance, Morpheme was technology implemented for the first time by From Software and so this was definitely a challenge for us. Havok Cloth was also another new technology we implemented and so these challenges were a bigger part of our development.”
This also pointed towards next-gen development, as Suzuki continued, “Both Morphem and Havok Cloth are middleware that can be used in the next generation, and by implementing these now, they function on PS3 and Xbox 360, we wanted to implement now to be prepared and have a strong understanding.”
The first part of our Making Dark Souls II feature is already live, with part 2 set to go up early next week. Check back for that, as well as our full review of the game leading up to its March 11 release.
Have to say I'm surprised as any gameplay footage I've seen doesn't look anything like next-gen.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 4:57 PM
| Yesterday, Reddit user Sharkiller posted a screenshot revealing a new Steamworks development tool that lets developers easily set discounts on their games. Today, Valve confirmed that the tool has been given to devs.
"This new Steamworks tool allows developers to configure discounts for their own products, on their own schedules," Valve's vice president of marketing Doug Lombardi told Polygon. "They can define custom sale periods or opt in to regularly scheduled sales. This will enable developers to better coordinate their promotions with events, announcements, or major updates they are planning for their products."
Previously, developers worked with Valve to participate in special sale events, such as the popular seasonal sales. The Steamworks tool allows developers to schedule their game's sale two months in advance, and easily participate in in week-long deals and other promotions, by selecting the sale then setting the discount percentage. Sales created by developers will have a two-week limit.
Previous sales have led us to confess our crazy purchases and this news will no doubt lead to Steam sale support groups.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:20 PM
Tuesday February 25th, 2014
| Gearbox Software has filed a federal lawsuit against 3D Realms and Danish developer Interceptor seeking damages and a formal injunction for trademark infringement, unfair competition, copyright infringement, and breach of contract. In the filing Gearbox alleges 3D Realms and Interceptor are seeking to “misappropriate and make infringing use of the Duke Nukem trademarks and copyrights owned by Gearbox.”
Earlier this month it became apparent 3D Realms was planning a new Duke Nukem game with Danish developer Interceptor Entertainment, developer of 2013’s Rise of the Triad remake. A teaser site, alloutofgum.com, was counting down the days until February 25 and was briefly linked to a Facebook page for Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction. The game is described as "an isometric, action role-playing game for PC and PlayStation 4.”
The suit asserts Gearbox secured its rights to the Duke Nukem property on February 2, 2010, “upon the execution of an Asset Purchase Agreement in which 3DR transferred, with certain very limited exceptions, all Duke Nukem intellectual property to Gearbox.” The agreement required 3D Realms or its licensees to seek Gearbox’s permission before making use of Duke Nukem after that date.
“Recently—and without consulting the Duke IP’s actual owner, Gearbox—Interceptor announced its intent to develop a Duke Nukem game based upon the various characters, content and intellectual property owned by Gearbox; the proposed game is entitled “Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction,” the filing continues. “Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened. The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor.
“By attempting to license the unlicensable, assign the unassignable, and effectively re-sell the exclusive rights that Gearbox already purchased in 2010, 3DR breached the terms of its [Asset Purchase Agreement] with Gearbox, as well as Gearbox’s exclusive, federally-protected intellectual property rights. Unfortunately, the 3DR-Interceptor maneuver has left Gearbox with little choice but to bring these claims.”
The suit also reveals a 3D Realms response to a cease and desist letter sent by Gearbox regarding Mass Destruction that concedes “all future development in the Duke IP” is a development right exclusively held by Gearbox” and admits “development efforts such as 3DR’s Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction effort with others was not only unauthorized, but a material infringement of the Gearbox’s rights.”
“As the filing shows, 3DR’s wrongdoing is both admitted and unfortunate for everyone who cares about Duke Nukem,” read a supplied statement from Gearbox Software.
Claiming “[n]o good deed goes unpunished” the filing goes on to describe 3D Realms’ difficulties with Duke Nukem Forever (“Specifically, 3DR asked Gearbox to rescue 3DR from the Take 2 litigation and, if possible, to complete the technological jigsaw puzzle of a videogame that 3DR had been calling DNF. Because Gearbox had personal ties to 3DR, Take 2, and its fellow Duke Nukem fans, Gearbox agreed to help.”) as well as 3D Realms’ legal action against Gearbox over royalty payments, which the former voluntarily withdrew with apologies and explained as a misunderstanding of the agreement.
The teaser site remains online, only with an Emergency Broadcast System icon obscuring the countdown.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 8:47 PM
Monday February 24th, 2014
| DayZ creator Dean Hall has announced that he plans to both leave Bohemia Interactive and step down as leader of the game he created by the end of the year.
Eurogamer reports that Hall will leave DayZ in the hands of the team he heads up today, and will be returning to his native New Zealand to establish a new studio dedicating to creating multiplayer titles.
"I am a grenade," he explained. "I have a specific use. I'm really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks, I've always been good at that in my life.
"That's what I did with DayZ; I've done it twice now [once with the mod, again with the standalone] - two new code teams have separately done it.
"But eventually, that's the bad person to have. Eventually, you don't want the guy telling you to go over the top and get through. So at some point I'll be a disaster for the project, at least in a leadership role."
Hall goes on to explain that he only ever really planned to working on the game for a couple of months rather than two years, and he also doesn't want to spend the rest of his life telling Bohemia how to do things. Despite this, he promised he won't drop out at the end of 2014 if the game still requires his involvement, though his departure is very much a "when" and no longer an "if".
"I would extend my involvement here as long as Bohemia wanted - needed - me," he explained.
"Originally I wasn't going to do this year, but it would be stupid not to, and it would be unfair to the community. I have to be on the project as long as it's important to. Whether that role is as the leader, whether that role is in a more creative sense... But at a certain point there will be diminishing returns.
"I'll always be involved with it; there's no way to escape it."
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:59 PM
Thursday February 20th, 2014
| A month ago, we were all pretty nervous. After almost two years of struggle, we faced a do-or-die situation. There was no other chance to get financing for our game than doing a crowd-funding campaign. No publisher was willing to risk their money on a weird, historical game for a “niche” audience. No investor was going to step in without proof that their investment was going to pay off.
It wasn’t all hopeless; we had research that proved that the ideas of our game were resonating with gamers. But other voices were skeptical – “Kickstarter’s popularity is waning.” “The Olympics will sap our coverage.” “We’re not true indies – Kickstarter isn’t for people like us…”
I was very nervous. I had done my homework. I had studied all the unsuccessful campaigns that asked for more than US$500,000, and I knew a lot about the campaigns for projects similar to ours that managed to raise way over one million dollars. Those that didn’t had done something wrong, or their games just weren’t good enough. But was our game good enough?
And what about the press? Were they going to like it? Hadn’t they seen things much better behind closed doors? Some unannounced, next-gen, big-budget RPG we could never compete with? Were they going to be interested in a weird game from a little studio from some small country far, far away?
Then there were our fellow citizens in the Czech Republic – the most skeptical and sarcastic nation on the planet: “You are crazy! Who is going to be interested in history! In OUR history! Nobody cares about us!”
Hell, we even had problems finding a PR agency to represent us. We tried to hire several two months before the campaign, but everyone basically ignored us. Everyone told us that they don’t do Kickstarters – that press doesn’t cover Kickstarter projects anymore. Luckily, we met Corey Wade from US agency Sandbox Strategies, who believed in the project and quickly brought in Claudia Kuehl and Patrick Schroder from DELASOCIAL to focus on Germany. They got us in front of the press and thankfully the journalists responded positively and posted thoughtful previews of the game early in the Kickstarter campaign.
It took us a whole weekend to shoot the Kickstarter video with me telling the story. It was a last minute recording, and we did it in English knowing that, if my accent was too thick, it could have a terrible impact. I’m not a native speaker - how could our video compete with their awesome work?
That’s what was in our minds when we pressed that green PUBLISH button on our Kickstarter page one month ago…
The day we launched our campaign, I woke up in the morning to find we were the lead article on the front page of GameSpot, with our artwork all over the screen. Wow. And there was so much more to come. The response from gamers was even better. Better than we could ever wish for. It became clear that there are quite a few people out there who have similar tastes in games to our own.
The main “reason” we were rejected by all the publishers turned out to be totally false. Not only do people not need fantasy or magic or dragons to enjoy a game, they desperately want games without them! Along the way, we were fortunate to receive support and promotion for the game from such personas as Chris Roberts, Brian Fargo, Sven Vincke, and others. It’s really been one helluva ride.
We have raised almost 400% of our original goal. Kingdom Come: Deliverance is among the 30 most-funded Kickstarter projects of all time and in the top 15 of videogame projects. We have 35 thousand backers, with an average pledge of US$52. Our YouTube channel has more than a million views.
Simply said: You are awesome! Thank You!
So, what’s next? Now we have to make the game! We feel a lot of responsibility and obligation to deliver on our vision after so many people put so much of their trust into our project. It’s going to be hard to satisfy all those expectations, but we will do all we can not to disappoint you.
I will finally have time to sit down with the designers and start writing the quests and storyline. Next month, we will be joined by twelve new colleagues (some of them quite experienced senior developers from the recently disbanded 2K Czech studio in Prague). In just a few months, we plan to grow to more than 50 people, so we can make the big game we first dreamed of.
Of course, we will continue to openly blog about development, as we have in the past. Since we don’t need to hide anything anymore, it should be even more interesting. You can follow our blog here.
And if you want to stay informed about what is going on, please follow our: Facebook page, Twitter and YouTube channel.
We will also continue to raise money on our own webpage, where you will be able to get most of the same, terrific rewards and early access to the game, if for whatever reason you didn’t or couldn’t pledge in the past month. Our shop will accept PayPal and Amazon Payments, as many of you asked. We will continue to add new stretch goals as we can.
As promised, we will release an Alpha version in about six months to all those who pledged Baron-level support and higher, and we’ll be carefully looking at your feedback on our forums, which are open to all of our backers. By mid-2015, we should release the Beta, followed by the final version of Act I.
So, on behalf of the whole team, thank you again for your generous support and enthusiasm. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we are going to have a little celebration!
Creative Director, Warhorse Studios
Awesome!!! Glad to see they were so successful!
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 3:28 PM
Wednesday February 19th, 2014
| But not on a version of the delightful mobile game Space Team. Sometimes my headlines get away from me, take on lives of their own, and begin pulling nefarious pranks on innocent passersby. I apologize. I blame the public schooling system. But anyway, the two members of Kickstarter’s Might As Well Be Triple-A contingent, Star Citizen and Kingdom Come: Deliverance, are joining forces to sensually swap technology and probably tell each other all kinds of deeply personal secrets. I hope Star Citizen gets space horses. (Which, when couched in the previous metaphor, sounds like some kind of infectious disease. Clarification: I do not hope that Star Citizen gets the fictitious disease Space Horses.)
Star Citizen’s Chris Roberts explained the meeting of minds and (rather unlikely) settings in a blog post:
“Like Star Citizen, Kingdom Come is built on the CryEngine. They’re using the same technology to do for swords and armor what we are doing for spaceships and alien worlds. Kingdom Come doesn’t just look like a great game, though: it looks like something we on the Star Citizen team could learn from. The characters and outfits I saw working in-engine in the trailer impressed me so much that I contacted the team to talk about what was going on under the hood.”So Star Citizen gets nicer looking characters and animations, and Kingdom Come becomes – I don’t know – shinier? Or maybe it gets cool automotive-industry-style horse commercials. “This baby’s engine whinnies like a champ and has two horsepower. It only four legs, but it runs like]IGN[ it has eight, and oh wait actually it does have eight this is awkward.”
“The good news is: the team at Warhorse isn’t just an incredible talented group of people… they’re also kindred spirits who are willing to share the work they’ve done! We will be sharing with them the tricks for working with CryEngine we’ve learned over the last 18 months and they will be letting us in on the secrets and the tech behind what they’re doing! I’ve always said that independent developers should stick together, and the potential good for both games that can come from this unofficial partnership is proof positive.”
But yes, this sounds like good news all around. Two great-looking games get even better, assuming both companies play nicely together. It’ll be interesting to see if more crowdfunded games with triple-A aspirations follow a similar pattern, seeing as it takes away a hefty chunk of change from the equation. Time will tell. Anyway, time to go start working on my space-age horse armor mod.
So, why not enjoy an hour of Kingdom Come:
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 12:18 PM
Tuesday February 18th, 2014
| Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.
A sad day, I wish the best for his new endeavors.
Posted By Prozium @ 11:42 PM
Former Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has claimed he will never make another disc-based game, and asserted that the current industry model relying on Game Informer cover reveals and E3 announcements is dead.
Speaking to Gamasutra the ex-Epic design lead explained he'd been inspired by games like Rust to try and make a PC game that would allow him to have a closer relationship with players, without publishers and the media acting as middle men.
"The whole 'old guard,' where you get a Game Informer cover and an E3 reveal, is dead," he said. "I'll never make another disc-based game for the rest of my career, and [at E3] they're trying to woo buyers from Target and Walmart?"
Bleszinski goes on to explain what he likes about Rust in particular, explaining that it's a perfect example of the Minecraft model that should be fostering more creative enterprises on PC.
"It's not about the 'new user experience'; in these games the new user experience is utter s***, and it's okay," he said. "There are two lessons people have not learned from Minecraft: Get the game out there and build it. Some kid will put out a video. Players will teach each other. You don't need the 'press A to jump'."
Also in the interview Bleszinski reflected upon his tenure working on Gears of War, saying, "It didn’t wind up what I’d hoped; I’d pitched it as ‘Band of Brothers with monsters’ — you know Band of Brothers is well-done and emotional, telling the story of the Greatest Generation and what they did in the war. Yet somehow we landed on ‘Predator’… the characters being all ‘buff and manly’, I’d never planned on that.
“I don’t want Gears to be my defining legacy. At the end of the day, it’s known for being a fun, fantastic franchise. But I’d like to think there’s more to my creativity than that.”
Bleszinski recently shared his thoughts on Microsoft's acquisition of Gears of War, explaining that he would not be involved in future development in any way.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 7:35 AM
Monday February 17th, 2014
The Chinese Room's interactive storytelling experiment Dear Esther is getting rebuilt - again - in a new engine.
Environment artist Robert Briscoe revealed the news on his blog, explaining that he's been working on a Unity build for the past few months after running into countless issues with Source during the outsourced development of the Linux and Mac ports. Due to licensing problems and huge middleware bills, the team could not continue to support the ports once the contractors' terms had finished.
Briscoe says that all the drama left him feeling "anxious, not just about the possibility of further ports, but about the future of Dear Esther in the years to come."
The solution? Rebuilding the entire game in Unity. The change of engine, Briscoe says, will allow greater reach to other platforms, eliminate the team's need to scour the world for Source Engine developers, and facilitate clean-ups of the existing Mac and Linux ports.
"For now, the plan is to work towards a solid, high quality, Linux and Mac build, and then eventually PC. At some point we’ll release betas for our existing Humble Store and Humble Bundle customers to evaluate and test, and when we’ve got something that reaches a quality we’re happy with, we’ll scrap the flakey old builds and look at getting everything up and running across all platforms on Steam."
Briscoe assures readers that no permanent changes will be made until The Chinese Room is "100% sure" that the new Unity build is ready and that gamers are happy with the transition.
For the technically-minded amongst you, Briscoe has since posted a follow-up post on how exactly he's doing the whole Unity-porting thing.
Dear Esther began life in 2008 as a Source Engine mod, before being rebuilt from the ground up for its commercial release in 2012. We reviewed the 2012 release highly.
This Unity build will be Dear Esther's second entire overhaul.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:00 PM
Friday February 7th, 2014
| Activision has reported its financials for the quarter ending December 31, 2013. As part of that news, the publisher has announced that it is giving Infinity Ward and Treyarch longer development cycles to work on their Call of Duty games.
Sledgehammer, which worked with Infinity Ward on Modern Warfare 3, will be taking the reins of its own Call of Duty title. The studio was founded by Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, who previously worked with Visceral on the Dead Space series. Sledgehammer is leading this year's Call of Duty game.
During the call, Activision listed three branches of the Call of Duty franchise: Modern Warfare, Black Ops, and Ghosts. With Black Ops at Treyarch and Ghosts at Infinity Ward, it seems logical to suspect Sledgehammer's entry will be a Modern Warfare title.
Posted By Cecil @ 3:29 PM
| Though I’ve had plenty of time with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, I hadn’t seen any updated hardware since E3 last year. While that previous demo was one of the more impressive experiences at the show, the newest version of the hardware is on display here at DICE, which Scott Lowe reported on from CES, offers an even better experience thanks to better visuals and more natural tracking. We had a chance to try it out ourselves using a demo of CCP’s space shooter, Valkyrie, and chat with the teams behind the experience.
The HD prototype shown at E3 used an LCD HD display but had 15-16ms f pixel switching time. That meant images would persist on the screen at a rate that was perceptible, which accounted for some of the blurry smudging and discomfort that some people experienced during the demo. The new hardware is running at a higher refresh rate and cutting out the smudged frames.
Nice but disappointing to hear the 15-16ms ghosting. Really excited for this - especially for shooters. I never bothered with the lean features because they're so difficult to judge.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 10:14 AM
Wednesday February 5th, 2014
| Doom creator John Carmack would have liked to stay at id Software while serving as Chief Technology Officer for the Oculus Rift, he says. He worked at both companies for a while, having taken the CTO position before leaving id Software entirely a few months later. Carmack has now spoken openly about the decision, saying it was "unfortunate" that id wasn't interested in pursuing his new virtual reality passion project.
"It would have been a huge win," Carmack told USA Today. "It seemed like a sensible plan for me. I would have been content probably staying there working with the people and technology that I know and the work we were doing," he said.
"But they couldn't come together on that, which made me really sad. It was just unfortunate. When it became clear that I wasn't going to have the opportunity to do any work on VR while at id software, I decided to not renew my contract."
When Carmack announced he was leaving the company, id studio director Tim Willits told IGN that he had, "become interested in focusing on things other than game development at id." The split seemed amicable, and Carmack has offered to give his annual talk at QuakeCon, even though he doesn't work for the host company anymore.
"I really do think VR is now one of the most exciting things that can be done in this whole sector of consumer electronic entertainment stuff," said Carmack. "I've seen this when we transitioned from 2D games to 3D games and everybody has seen the mobile transition, right now in the last five years. After you have been around for a while, you can notice some of the trends. It really feels like VR has the possibility to be something really huge."
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:51 PM
| Double Helix Games, developer of Killer Instinct, has reportedly been acquired by Amazon, according to TechCrunch.
Though the financial terms were not disclosed, the report claims the acquisition was for both intellectual property and talent, of which there are 75 employees. The information was reportedly made public through an invitation to a joint recruiting event between the two companies scheduled for next week in Los Angeles.
The deal would strongly reinforce rumors Amazon is intending to release its own Android-based game console, though the company already has its own game studio. Amazon Games Studio has thus far developed Air Patriots, a tower defense title for iOS and Android devices.
Double Helix recently released the Xbox One exclusive, Killer Instinct, which it continues to support. The studio is also behind the upcoming Strider reboot which is slated for launch later this month.
According to the report Amazon has stated, "Double Helix’s current lineup of games and other future developments will be supported, following the acquisition."
We've reached out for comment and will update the story accordingly.
Interesting. Amazon expanding into the game making business.
Posted By CybrSlydr @ 9:47 PM