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GameStop isn't just a purveyor of fine gaming wares and a place to economize physical game merchandise. Now they're fully entering the publishing business with their own fully owned, and separate, division created specifically for publishing games; GameTrust.
They've already tried their hand at publishing their own games in the past, but now they're officially entering fray with their own, non-traditional mechanism for letting developers get their games out there, and funded even. It's non-traditional in that they have a completely hands-off approach to the development process. The goal of GameTrust is to provide their clients with exclusive real estate, as they're calling it, both online and in their stores to allow for a higher degree of discoverability. Right now they're working with Insomniac Games, Frozenbyte, Read At Dawn and Tequila works, but there's plenty of room for more developers to join their new business model.
Even though it might at first seem the antithesis of their unspoken policy to protect their own physical merchandise business, however, the extension into the digital release business is actually a natural progression and now another source of income for them. GameStop is striving to be more relevant in an evolving climate. They plan on distributing to as many platforms as possible, consoles and PC, with their sites set on including a dose of VR content as well.
The move into the publishing business is a smart business decision as their sales continue to rapidly drop while the industry moves in a direction that precludes their older, slightly archaic, business model. They're changing and evolving as the industry does, and this is a natural fit since they're already well-positioned in the industry to offer these services to indie and larger developers alike.
The latest open-world entry in the beloved Mafia game series will release in October across PS4, Xbox One, and PC if rumors can be believed.
In a recent Tweet, renowned industry insider Wario64 predicted that Mafia 3 will release on the same month as Gears of War 4--in October 2016. 2K will reveal a brand new trailer tomorrow at 8 AM EST, and it's highly likely we'll get an official launch confirmation in the footage.
If you need a refresher, Mafia 3 takes place in post-Vietnam 1960's and follows Lincoln Clay, a Vietnam vet who starts up his own crime syndicate. The Big Easy's organized mob strikes out against Clay, murdering his entire gang as well as his family and friends, leaving him with nothing. Players then build up Clay's gang once again to unleash revenge on the mob, while taking over the city's vice-ridden streets.
BioShock dev Ken Levine will use Rod Serling's beloved anthology series to blur the lines between film and games.
I absolutely love The Twilight Zone. I've watched every episode of the 1960's series and the 1985 reboot, along with the terrible 2000 run. So when I hear that Irrational Games' Ken Levine is not only writing but also directing an interactive Twilight Zone film that "explore sthe spaces between movies and games", I get pretty excited. I've always wanted a Twilight Zone game, something akin to Alan Wake's Night Springs in video game form.
"Interactivity is a spectrum, it's not binary," Levine told Wired in a recent interview. "I think of it as the viewer's angle in the chair. When you watch something, you're sitting back in the chair. When you're gaming, you're leaning forward in the chair. This is an interesting place in between ... your brain is forward in the chair."
Insomniac Games , the traditional spunky console developer, is seriously breaking out of their comfort zone now with three VR-focused games coming to the PC, of all places, and for the Oculus Rift. Feral Rites, is one of those, and places you in control the son of a slain tribal chieftain in third-person.
The game blends different elements that might be best recognized in the Legend of Zelda series of games as well as God of War. It's best used with a traditional gamepad, Insomniac's Cameron Christain says, and has a fixed camera angle similar to God of War, but with adventuring elements that are more akin to Zelda. You'll have the ability to transform from human, into a jaguar-type beast, though they say it isn't a power-up of sorts or special ability, but a main component of the game. You'll have to switch strategically in order to solve some problems that crop up. The best part is that it's in VR, meaning completely in your face with the gore and blood.
The fighting style is also similar to God of War in that you can string together different combos for maximum damage. You'll also be able to fight in mid-air, striking taller opponents in the face, if need be. Just how this will work out in VR, or make use of the advantages of VR, in this case is unknown. If the camera angle is fixed, then it takes away the greatest advantage of VR in the first place.
The latest patch that's expected to hit this week for Rocket League is all about refinement of some of the in-game mechanisms. Specifically, it's concentrating on making those hitboxes a bit more realistic and actually shaped like the vehicles they're attached to, instead of being generic in size.
The changes that are coming soon are all designed to help level the playing field and ensure that the game is a bit more fair. No sense in having a massive vehicle with suitably tiny hitboxes that mirror the size of it's smaller, brethren. The changes are minor, though they should have a larger impact on the game, especially the competitive sphere, than the version number implies. Another minor change has been made to the physics of the ball so that it can behave a bit more realistically in the Wasteland area. This is in part thanks to both reworking of physics and collision improvements.
Below are the specific fixes to the hitboxes for the curious:
- Fixed Scarab and Grog's hitboxes, which were not long enough
- Fixed Breakout and Hotshot's hitboxes, which were not wide enough
- Fixed Batmobile and Breakout's hitboxes, which were abnormally long
- Fixed Gizmo, Octane, Ripper, and Scarab's hitboxes, which were too tall
- Fixed Dominus' hitbox, which was not long or tall enough
It was only a matter of time before some astute developer started doing the prudent thing, which is bringing older games to the Android platform. Counter-Strike, though a game that requires quick reflexes and a keen sense of your surroundings, has been made available in a fan-made port to the platform, and it seems to run very well.
The creator, Alibek Omarev, recently posted a video of him playing the port on YouTube. He captured the screen so you can see him launching the application from the launcher of his Android-based tablet. He went so far as to include fully working touch controls into the port, though they may not be your best bet if you're looking to get a high enough K/D ratio. You can customize those to your liking, however, should you decide to install it yourself. You can do that by visiting the Github page for the project.
The actual hardware requirements of the game are low, and the current GPU and CPU are more than capable of running it, so it speaks to the tenacity of the developer, Omarev, in going through the original with a fine-toothed comb in order to ensure it works properly. For al intents and purposes, this is CS 1.6, and it's been ported very well. The next logical step would be in allowing cross-platform play between Android and Windows. Oh, and of course letting Bluetooth keyboards and mice be usable in the game as well. Android just might become the next great competitive platform. Regardless, it's very impressive to look at, and ingenious. Just get in on it and download it before Valve shuts that door closed.
Sony will be conducting some maintenance on their dedicated PSN servers that should last around two hours starting on Monday, April 18th at 9:30PM PST/
During this maintenance period, you won't have access to account management, your PSN profile, PlayStation Video or even the PlayStation Store. All is not lost, however, because some basic, which means gaming, functionality will still be available. "Anyone who already has an account can still sign in to their PlayStation Network profile, play games, and use most applications while this maintenance is carried out," Sony explained on their maintenance site.
Such deliberate and invasive maintenance is necessary when upgrading their servers or applying larger, more sophisticated software patches that can't be done in the usual stages that wouldn't otherwise disrupt availability of services. This period is short, though it could go on longer than the projected 2 hours. It's certainly nice, for a change, to see maintenance scheduled and on purpose.
Surprise surprise: Gears of War 4 will be running at 30FPS during the single-player campaign, and at 60FPS during the multiplayer battles. Both will be running at 1080p, but I'm sure it's going to be a dynamic resolution, scaling up to 1080p when it can.
The reason? The Coalition, the developer behind the Xbox One exclusive, wanted Gears of War 4 to be a "graphical showcase" on the Xbox One, just like the original Gears of War was for the Xbox 360. The single-player campaign is thus locked at 30FPS, while the multiplayer side of the game will be a much smoother 60FPS experience.
During the recent IGN Podcast, The Coalition boss Rod Fergusson explained: "It's a notion of wanting to make, to push, the visuals as hard as possible in the campaign, and there are also other aspects. When you look at your framerate, there are of the number of elements that go into it, part of it is rendered".
Even with the new updates, I have a love-hate relationship with Bungie's MMOFPS Destiny, but one thing I've always admired is the game's visual flair. Destiny has always spun that critical illusion of sci-fi futurism, which is in no small way due to the game's impressive user interface. Now we get to see how the UI looked in the game's early stages, and it's quite amazing.
At GDC 2016, Bungie's UI Design Lead David Candland gave a talk entitled Tenacious Design and The Interface of Destiny. In it Candland revealed how Destiny would have looked if Bungie followed their early prototypes--colorful, unique, eye-catching. Totally unlike the casual-friendly design we see today. Everything was different--character panes, inventory screens, reputation lists, the Director scheme, and vendors all had their stylish look.
Hopefully Bungie will revert to their past styles at some point for Destiny. Maybe with Destiny 2 will get a neat visual overhaul. It's really interesting to see all the intersecting points and possible shapes the game could have taken, especially given how drab--yet clean--the current UI looks.
Technology really is awesome, isn't it? Homebrewers and hackers have done all sorts of amazing things like getting DOOM to run on an ATM. Now that same spirit has brought Counter-Strike 1.6 to Android phones.
That's right, you can now play one of the most coveted and beloved shooters in existence, Counter-Strike 1.6, on your Android phone. It's a straight port over to Android, so you'll be playing the authentic flavor of CS 1.6 on your mobile.
Sure the screen is pretty much filled with touchscreen icons, and we can only imagine how janky it is to play a frenetic shooter on a phone, but you can also pop in an OTG cable for controller support. Given the flexibility of Android, you could probably even get mouse and keyboard action in as well for an extra nerd bonus.