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This morning Oculus VR, the company behind the Oculus Rift, announced a new addition to the team. The company said that id Software co-founder and legendary programmer John Carmack has joined the Oculus team as the company's new Chief Technical Officer. Oculus says that Carmack "is one of the brightest minds of our generation - pioneer, visionary, and industry legend. There are very few people in the world that can contribute to the Oculus Rift and the future of virtual reality like John can."
For those of you who might be too young to remember, John Carmack is the brains behind revolutionary pioneer first-person shooter games such as DOOM, QUAKE, RAGE and Wolfenstein. Carmack is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of 3-D graphics and has recently worked as a programmer in the aerospace industry at Armadillo Aerospace. Carmack prepared a statement which I have pasted below.
"I have fond memories of the development work that led to a lot of great things in modern gaming - the intensity of the first person experience, LAN and internet play, game mods, and so on. Duct taping a strap and hot gluing sensors onto Palmer's early prototype Rift and writing the code to drive it ranks right up there. Now is a special time. I believe that VR will have a huge impact in the coming years, but everyone working today is a pioneer. The paradigms that everyone will take for granted in the future are being figured out today; probably by people reading this message. It's certainly not there yet. There is a lot more work to do, and there are problems we don't even know about that will need to be solved, but I am eager to work on them. It's going to be awesome!"
Call of Duty developers, Infinity Ward, are praising their main competitor's developer, DICE. Yes, praising, and not bashing. Executive Producer, Mark Rubin, explained there's a real camaraderie between all developers.
He said that all developers have the same goal, and that is to push video games into new directions. During an interview with Games Industry International, Rubin said:
On a developer's side it's like, 'Oh, did you see that stuff they're doing? That's so cool! We could do something that's like this and that and we get excited about seeing that kind of stuff. So from a developer's side, it definitely pushes us [to do better]. But it pushes us in a - I don't know if other studios feel this way - but I hope in a sort of camaraderie type sense. 'Oh, those guys are doing awesome stuff. Let's jack up our game.' But not like two opposing teams. Rather, like the same team pushing in the same direction.
During a visit by tourists through Valve's Bellevue-based offices, a member of the DotA 2 Reddit community snapped a picture of what the Internet has now grabbed onto as hope of a tease of Left 4 Dead 3.
You can see in the photo above about "L4D3", and I've also noticed "Source2" which is the next-gen graphics engine that I think Valve will unveil with Half-Life 3. Of course, none of this is total, 100% proof, so for now, this is just a "we hope this is proof" post. There's no mention of Half-Life 3, but I'm sure Gabe and his team have that under serious lock and key this time around.
FEAR was a great game for its time, with its scares and slow-mo goodness, but some of Monolith Productions' former developers have formed a new studio, Blackpowder Games, and announced their first new title: Betrayal.
Betrayal is a colonial-era, first-person shooter, set in 1604 where ghosts and mysteries are in high numbers in a high-contrast world. Betrayal has been made with the help of Unreal Engine 3, and will give players weapons from the era, including crossbows, muskets and axes. Players will be searching the lands for survivors and solving mysteries.
Creative Director of Betrayal, Craig Hubbard, said: "We wanted to get back to crafting games more intuitively. There's a sense of discovery and excitement when you navigate by instinct rather than market research and open yourself up to opportunities that arise during development." Betrayal will hit Steam Early Access on August 14 for $15.
I'm quite excited for the inclusion of the Battlescreen for Battlefield 4, which is an interactive mini-map and is powered through the Internet. It works on next-gen consoles and PCs, but won't be compatible with the current generation Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Battlelog Assistant Producer, Jesper Nielsen, says: "Battlelog is powered by the web, and that has a lot of implications. There are a lot of different things you can do, things you can do faster, rather than building stuff in native code." Battlescreen allows gamers to use a tablet or smartphone as a second screen, which is an awesome addition to Battlefield 4.
Battlefield 4 launches on October 29 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. It shouldn't launch too long after this date for the next-gen platforms.
Today, Zynga announced that it would be shutting down game developer OMGPOP despite the fact that it paid $200 million for it back in March 2012. TechCrunch is reporting that many within OMGPOP's leadership banded together and tried to buy back the company, but Zynga refused to sell.
The employees were hoping to purchase the company's website, games, and intellectual property and were open to acquiring everything that Zynga wish to sell even if it excluded the company's most valuable asset Draw Something. Zynga cited that selling the site would take too much work and that it was just easier to shut the entire operation down.
Back in June, Zynga laid off OMGPOP's entire staff and today the company announced that OMGPOP.com would go dark at the end of next month on September 30. Zynga will keep alive several of the company's games, but for the most part, games like Cupcake Quarter, Jim Rush, Pool World Champ, and Snoops will all disappear forever.
According to an interview with website Eurogamer, Ubisoft has planned the end of the popular Assassin's Creed franchise. Ashraf Ismail, game director for Assassin's Creed: Black Flag, told the interviewer that "an overarching narrative for the game" is in existence, but not much more info was given.
"We have multiple development teams, then we have the brand team that sits on top and is filled with writers and designers concerned with the series' overall arc," Ismail explained. "So there is an overall arc and each iteration has its place inside this."
Lubrizol says that since the game is a yearly title, there is still room left to fit more inside this arc but there is a definitive end to the franchise. Ubisoft's CEO Yves Guillemot said that being an annual franchise allows the team to tease future plot points and inject NPCs and players who might be seen in future installments of the series.
Today, Sony announced a new MMO installment to the EverQuest franchise. The company says that the game will not follow in the footsteps of traditional leveling systems often found in MMOs but will instead feature approximately 40 classes at launch with players having the chance to mix and match abilities as they play through the game.
The new game will also feature a fully destructible voxel-based world in which all changes the players make on the world will remain permanent. The game will also be able to react to the decisions that players make and will proactively present players with quests that match a player's gaming style. The game will launch free to play sometime later this year, but no official launch date has been set.
"Today, many MMOs fail because players consume content faster than developers can create it. With EverQuest Next, we're creating a living world that players are part of and empowering them to produce new content alongside the development team," said SOE president John Smedley. "What does the future hold for EverQuest Next and Sony Online Entertainment? It's in the players' hands, and we like it that way."
One of the most anticipated games of all time is nearly here, but Grand Theft Auto V is only hitting current generation consoles meaning we're going to see the games vast open world clamped down by the ageing hardware in the PS3 and Xbox 360.
Gadget Mill have found out, through GTA V's official website, that the game won't be running at 1080p. They're claiming that the website didn't include any in-game screenshots above 720p. To me, the screenshots look fantastic, which means we're seeing it rendered on a PC, or super amounts of AA at 720p.
Rockstar's previous titles, such as Red Dead Redemption, Max Payne 3 and GTA IV, all ran at 720p. Current generation consoles are really holding games back, and GTA V is one of them. Let's hope that Rockstar unleash the open-world game onto next-gen consoles.
According to the LinkedIn profile of an artist working at Playground Games, they are working on a "next-gen Forza project." The artist, Yibo Liu, said he was "working as the only technical artist in the vehicle art team for an undisclosed next-gen Forza project."
Liu, who is a Technical Artist at Playground Games, has now changed the entry to reference an "undisclosed Xbox One project." Forza Motorsport 5 was one of the games Microsoft had in their Xbox One reveal showcase in May, and with the spinoff, Forza Horizon, developed at Playground Games, maybe we should expect it from them.
Microsoft have come out and told Polygon that they don't "comment on job postings or any speculation."