Monday, 26 February 2018

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gets a Japanese Soundtrack Release on 23rd May

News: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Gets a Japanese Soundtrack Release on 23rd May

THINK YOU CAN TAKE ME?



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Pokémon Day 2018: What You Need to Know for 'Pokémon Go,' Snapchat and More

Pokémon Day might not be something you can find on your calendar — unless you have a Pokémon calendar, in which case it probably is highlighted, bolded and a few other things besides — but it is an actual, honest to goodness thing that is happening on Tuesday, February 27. We're pretty sure it's a worldwide holiday, so hooray pocket monsters for bringing us all together. In any case, Pokémon Day 2018 is going to feature a number of different ways to celebrate the unstoppable juggernaut of a franchise, some of which will affect a certain game you might still be playing on your iPhone or iPad and a couple of other apps as well. Here are the highlights.


 

Pokémon GO

Big occasions for the Pokémon brand almost always get celebrated by a special in-game Pikachu, and this one is no different. Starting on Tuesday and running through Wednesday, February 28 at 1:00 p.m. PT, Trainers will be able to find and capture a Pikachu with a "festive striped purple hat." Not only that, but this partying Pikachu will know the move Present and grant triple the normal amount of Stardust when caught.

It's also worth keeping in mind that Pokémon Day falls within the game's current legendary week, where Kyogre, Groudon and Rayquaza can be found in Raid Battles. That means multiple reasons to be out playing Pokémon Go [Free] over the next few days, provided the weather is nice enough in your neck of the woods to allow it.


 

Snapchat

If giving the world around you more of a Pokémon flavor is your thing, you're in luck. Pokémon Day will see the release of the first of three new Shapchat Lenses celebrating famous Pokémon from the Kanto region (and just famous in general, really). Bulbasaur is up first, to be followed by Charmander and Squirtle.

Pokémon Day Snapchat Lens

 

Pokémon TV

Anyone who uses the Pokémon TV app [Free] is going to notice a pretty nifty content addition. The most recent Pokémon  animated film to hit theaters, Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!, will be available for viewing on the app and at Pokemon.com/TV. However, like other parts of this celebration, it will only be around for a limited time, disappearing after just one week.

Last but not least for those social media junkies out there, anyone who's out enjoying any of these games or apps on Pokémon Day can use the hashtag #PokemonDay to possibly have their social media posts featured on the holiday's official hub. Doing so won't automatically make you the best, like no one ever was, but at least it'll give you some cool bragging rights until the next time Pokémon Day rolls around.



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Video: The technology behind the sand in Journey

In this 2013 GDC session, thatgamecompany's John Edwards goes over the technical details of how sand was implemented in Journey. ...



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Free and Open-Source Vulkan on macOS and iOS

A Vulkan-compatible driver for macOS and iOS, MoltenVK, is now available free of charge and open-source. Having invested into its development for more than a year, we have sponsored The Brenwill Workshop to donate MoltenVK for inclusion in the Vulkan graphics ecosystem. We've also continued our efforts with LunarG who is today releasing a corresponding update to deliver macOS support to the Vulkan SDK. Also as a result of that work, Dota 2 will be updated in the comings months to target Vulkan on macOS.

It's been almost four years since we started contributing to Vulkan's goal of becoming a cross platform solution. With support for Windows, Linux, and Android crossed off the list, this latest set of updates checks off one of the largest remaining targets, giving developers an easy yet robust way to also target their Vulkan-based engines and titles to run on macOS and iOS. By making the code to MoltenVK freely available and open-source, the goal is to enable developers to bring their games to macOS and iOS with minimal evelopment cost.

The LunarG Vulkan SDK is a key component for developers targeting Vulkan by providing tools such as validation layers, shader compilers, and a loader. Now available from LunarG, an updated Vulkan SDK now offers those same tools to developers targeting macOS, enabling them to efficiently develop Vulkan code on the platform.



Additionally, we exercised MoltenVK with real world workloads including Dota 2 and we're seeing significant performance improvements over running on OpenGL.



We encourage developers to test their engines and titles with MoltenVK and the LunarG SDK and provide feedback. We are committed to making Vulkan a viable option for developers targeting all platforms.

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Warframe's Tennocon 2018 is happening in July, tickets go on sale this week

Warframe developer Digital Extremes has announced that this year's TennoCon - the company's annual Warframe-themed convention - will take place on July 7th, at the London Convention Center in London, Ontario.

Digital Extremes says that TennoCon 2018 will feature a variety of developer-led panels and workshops, plus numerous Warframe-themed activities - including a cosplay contest with a $10,000 CAD prize. It will also host a live Twitch stream with the developers, known as TennoLive, which promises "huge reveals". Last year, this included the announcement of Warframe's open-world Plains of Eidolon update.

Tickets for this year's TennoCon will go on sale this Wednesday, February 28th, and will range from $30 CAD to $1,000. More specifically, there are four available price tiers - $30 CAD, $75 CAD, $250 CAD, and $1,000 CAD - and each subsequent tier includes an increasingly elaborate array of digital and physical goodies.

Read more…



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Review: Detention (Switch eShop)

Review: Review: Detention (Switch eShop)

Best in class



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Toys of the future will be designed for augmented reality

Following the New York Toy Fair last week, toy companies have taken an interest in designing children's entertainment which uses augmented reality. ...



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'Super Soccer Champs 2018' from the Maker of 'Tennis Champs Returns' is Coming Soon

Just over two years ago, a little game called Tennis Champs Returns [Free] from game industry veteran Elton Bird and his studio Uprising Games swooped in and stole my heart. An update of 1995 Amiga classics Tennis Champs and Super Tennis Champs, which Bird was also the original programmer of, Tennis Champs Returns brought '90s arcade style and simplicity in a highly skill-based game of tennis with some of the finest virtual controls ever conceived. We adored Tennis Champs Returns in our review, and the game only got better with the addition of online multiplayer several months later and a huge Season 2 update that added all sorts of goodies in June of last year. The game even received iPhone X support in mid-December. (Is it obvious I love this game?)

Anyway, as much as I could talk about Tennis Champs Returns all day, this is actually about Bird's newest project called Super Soccer Champs 2018. You may already be familiar with the series by way of the original Super Soccer Champs [$1.99 / Free] which released on iOS in May of 2012, and then was updated over the course of the next two years becoming Super Soccer Champs '13 and finally the Super Soccer Champs '14 we know today. Like Tennis Champs Returns, this is an homage to the classic soccer titles of yesteryear like Sensible Soccer, Kick-Off, and Dino Dini's Goal. As you might expect, Super Soccer Champs 2018 is a bigger and better version of the 2012 original. Here is just a very brief glimpse of the new game in action.

As for features, according to Bird Super Soccer Champs 2018 will include "Amazing gameplay, retro-modern visuals, mid-core management with squad building, signings, Player training (+Minigames), boost cards and scouting. 25 Countries, 35 Leagues, Continental Championships, Domestic Cups! Local Multiplayer with comtrol pad support." Similar to Tennis Champs Returns, Super Soccer Champs 2018 will be free to play with an in-game coin system for upgrades, but also the option to purchase a one-time IAP to make the game premium. If you enjoyed that little teaser video above, you can find many more short clips on the Uprising Games Twitter media page and you can see more screens and interact with the developer in the game's forum thread. No release date is set but it sounds like Super Soccer Champs 2018 will be hitting fairly soon so we'll give you a heads up when more info is released.



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Russian TV station mistakenly airs footage of ARMA 3 during report on war in Syria

A Russian television station has mistakenly aired footage from a video game during a report on the war in Syria.

As noted by the BBC, the suspicious footage was edited into a segment celebrating members of the country's armed forces on weekly programme Voskresnoye Vremya, which runs on Russia's state-run Channel One TV.

At one point in the video, a truck is shown being targeted through a gun sight. While the clip's appearance was brief enough to pass unnoticed by most, users of Russia's Reddit-like community site Pikabu were a little more observant, quickly identifying the footage as being from developer Bohemia Interactive's ARMA 3.

Read more…



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Asphalt 9: Legends Guide - How to Download the Soft Launch and Use VPN

Gameloft soft launched Asphalt 9: Legends in the Philippines, and if you want to play the game before it's out worldwide, this guide explains how to do that. You will need to register a Philippines iTunes account if you don't already have one, or switch the country on an existing account. Additionally, Gameloft is wise to the practice of users getting accounts outside of their region and downloading games. So, the company region-locks its titles. What you need to do is to use a VPN, which you can do for free.

Change an iTunes Account to the Philippines

If you already have a soft launch account, or want to switch your existing account to the Philippines temporarily, you can do that. Note that if you have season passes to iTunes TV shows, you might not be able to switch over until the season pass is fulfilled. Some subscriptions might cause issues as well.

Go to the Settings app, then scroll down to iTunes and App Store. Tap on your Apple ID, then View Apple ID. Sign in with your password, then choose Country/Region. From there, choose the Philippines. You will need an address in the Philippines to register your account there, so use an address generator service to create one for you. Once you fill out all this information, your account's new region will be the Philippines, and you can go download Asphalt 9.

Register a Soft Launch Account

If you want to create a brand new account so that you aren't just changing the country on your main iTunes account with all its purchases, this is possible. You will need to sign out of your main iCloud account in Settings. This listing is the very big first entry in the settings list. Make sure your contacts, photos, and reminders are backed up if you do not have them backed up already! Once it says that you're signed out, tap on the "Sign into your iPhone/iPod/iPad" prompt. Then, tap the "Don't have an Apple ID or forgot it?" link.

Now, create an Apple ID. You can use an existing throwaway email address, but you can also create a free iCloud email address.

Now complete account registration. You might need to verify with a phone number, and though you might change the country later, you can use a phone number from any region to verify your account.

Once you complete your registration, sign into the App Store. You will get some information to fill out, including the country for your account. Let's start off with Canada, where many soft launch titles release. You can try creating a Chinese account, but again, you might have issues doing this.

For a billing address, you can use a fake name generator to generate an address and name of your choice. Make sure you choose none for your billing information.


Now go and download Asphalt 9 for yourself!

Use a VPN

Cloudwall VPN was a popular choice for Modern Combat Versus [Free], and it still works if you downloaded the app and it's in your purchased history. Unfortunately, it's not on the App Store any more. Otherwise, you will need to download something like VyprVPN [Free] in order to appear in the Philippines. Download the app, then follow its steps to install its VPN profile, find the Manila server, and connect. Be careful, though: you only get one gigabyte of free data with this app. You might want to experiment with a bunch of different VPN apps in order to see what works for you and in order to spread your data usage around.

You'll need to be patient. Most VPN apps that don't suck cost money (at least after their free trials), and many apps don't have Philippines servers. It's worth paying for a VPN at some point if you're concerned about privacy or need to avoid region detection often. If you see the region-blocking screen, be sure to close the app out from the app switcher and try again. Also try reconnecting to your VPN, sometimes a different IP address will do the trick.

This VPN step is annoying, and it does mean that you won't get the best performance in anything that requires latency (along with slower download speeds), but hey: if you want to play Gameloft's latest game before it's worldwide, you have to jump through some hoops.Hopefully publishers don't keep adding new stopgaps to prevent people from playing their games early, but it might just be something that enterprising players will have to keep finding new workarounds for.

If you wind up using our guide to download Asphalt 9: Legends for yourself, let us know, and be sure to comment below with any VPNs you recommend, and be sure to discuss the game in our forums and on our Discord!



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Former EA devs reflect on work culture 14 years after EA Spouse

In a piece published by Glixel earlier today, former Electronic Arts developers reflect on their employment 14 years after the Live Journal post EA Spouse shed light on the company's labor practices.  ...



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Alt.Ctrl.GDC Showcase: Vaccination

Vaccination is a cooperative game where one player scans a body for bacteria, relaying that information to the player with the injector who must use the right vaccine to cure it. ...



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Get a job: Disruptor Beam is hiring a VFX Artist

Disruptor Beam is looking for an Artist with at least three years of experience to create VFX in Unity for both gameplay and UI events. ...



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Khronos Group brings Vulkan support to MacOS and iOS

Previously, iOS and MacOS were noticeably absent from Vulkan's lists of supported platforms but the release of the free and open-source MoltenVK driver and the LunarG Vulkan SDK changes that. ...



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Come see the Warframe team share community management tips at GDC 2018

The Digital Extremes team will deliver a talk at GDC 2018 that breaks down everything they've learned about community management in 5 years of operating F2P cross-platform success Warframe! ...



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Don't Miss: How games like Mario Galaxy and Demon's Souls handle subjective difficulty

Game theorist Josh Bycer takes a look at how Nintendo designs the Super Mario Galaxy games to allow for players of all levels to be challenged and contrasts that with the punishing Demon's Souls. ...



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Twisted Platformer Mike Dies Drifts Through Space, Docks With Steam

MikeDies.jpg
Poor Mike is in trouble after taking a detour through that asteroid field. Even worse, his spaceship place is a literal death trap and he's also being chased by some weird demonic eye demon. It is time to escape - and to supposedly die a whole lot of times in the process.

When Psydra games, creators of twisted RPG Dark Scavenger (2012), take on the platformer genre, you just know that this won't be your run-of-the-mill jump and run. And indeed, Mike Dies feels more like a metroidvania, with short, challenging levels which are interconnected and that you may have to revisit at a later time.

Much like in Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV, there's a distinct sense of place to Mike's spaceship. You're not just stumbling through a haphazardly put together string of nasty levels. Instead, this place is full of dead ends, secrets, and hidden pathways to discover. It might not look like it, but there's rhyme and reason to all of this torture - and an odd story to boot.

Your set of moves is fairly limited. Running, jumping, and hovering in place are your only means of survival, and the biggest danger in the early levels is not getting part of you teleported away (while the other parts stays where you are, yikes).

But no worries, this limited moveset doesn't grow stale anytime soon. Mike Dies is designed quite well and has some surprises up its sleeve. Meanwhile, you cannot shake the feeling that someone's playing a rather cruel little game with you, but that's for you to figure out...

You can purchase Mike Dies from Steam for $14.99. For more information, visit the game's website and follow developer Psydra Games on Facebook or Twitter.



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Pricing and platforms: Why Alto's Adventure went F2P on Android only

Creative director Ryan Cash explains why Alto's Adventure launched at $5 for iOS but opted for free-to-play on Android one year later. ...



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