Sunday, 11 March 2018

Video Game Deep Cuts: A Jump Scare Soda Machine

This week's best longform articles & videos include devs on the effectiveness of jump scares in horror game, a unique in-game soda machine documenting project, and lots more. ...

from Gamasutra News

Sea of Thieves is having a "digital treasure hunt" to win an £80,000 bunch of golden bananas

Rare is ushering in Sea of Thieves' launch on March 20th with a "digital treasure hunt" to win a bunch of golden bananas valued at £80,000.

The four bananas have been forged by celebrated London goldsmiths Smith & Harris, the duo responsible for the so-called Kate Moss Siren. And if you're unfamiliar with the Kate Moss Siren, be aware that it mightn't be something you want to Google while in polite company.

For those that haven't been following Sea of Thieves' development, the banana theme isn't quite as random as it might first appear; in-game, bananas are currently the only item that can restore health, so have a kind of skewed prominence during your swashbuckling escapades.

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The making of Shadow of the Colossus on PS4

Now known as the 'masters of the remaster', Bluepoint Games has a well-earned, solid gold reputation for delivering some of the best current-gen - and indeed last-gen - ports of gaming's most beloved properties. From Metal Gear Solid to God of War, from Gravity Rush to the Uncharted trilogy, Bluepoint's work has been uniformly excellent across the years.

However, with the recently released Shadow of the Colossus remake, the studio has pushed on to a new level. The developer has built upon its existing PS3 remastering efforts with a full-blown remake, reimagining Team Ico's original work with a release that captures and enhances the unique ambience of the PS2 classic, executed to today's triple-A gaming standards.

That said, despite some extensive pre-launch marketing, there's still a lot that we don't know about this game. What engine technologies did Bluepoint draw upon to create this remake? To what extent does original Team Ico codebase factor into the new game? And looking towards Shadow's stunning PlayStation 4 Pro implementation, how does the team manage to make its 40fps 4K mode look so good despite a 1440p base framebuffer? And conversely, looking at the performance mode, how did Bluepoint hit its 60fps target so consistently when so many have failed?

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Bluepoint's next game is another remake

Bluepoint Games has confirmed that its next project in the wake of the stunning Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 4 is a new remake. Digital Foundry had the opportunity to talk with the team about the technology powering its latest release, and asked whether the expanded art team brought on for the project would be deployed next on an original game.

"Well, we could but we're doing another remake," replied Bluepoint's president and co-owner, Marco Thrush. "This project served us as a great point of growing the art team to the point where we can take on a full triple-A game major scope of art content. So now our next step is, let's improve the art pipeline, let's improve the engine, let's improve workflow for artists, let's grow on the art side some more to handle our next project because it's a bit bigger. And our next focus is, all right, let's work on design and add new stuff to get to the next remake, because now that can be our sole focus of making sure that's where we put the time and everybody else, they're already at a level where we can perform."

Bluepoint's strategy in expansion has involved growing over time to meet the needs of each new title, but there's the sense now from our conversation that the studio has evolved to point where it's close to being able to tackle any kind of project that's thrown at it.

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Daily Deal - ASTRONEER, 20% Off

Today's Deal: Save 20% on ASTRONEER!*

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*Offer ends March 16th at 10AM Pacific Time

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Feature: A Kirby Retrospective: From Game Boy To Nintendo Switch

Feature: Feature: A Kirby Retrospective: From Game Boy To Nintendo Switch

Kirby your enthusiasm

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

Guide: A Kirby Retrospective: From Game Boy To Nintendo Switch

Guide: Guide: A Kirby Retrospective: From Game Boy To Nintendo Switch

Kirby your enthusiasm

from Nintendo Life | Latest Updates

How Firewatch helped a 14-year-old save a historically important tower

Jack Kelley and his father are standing in the middle of the woods in Phillipston, Massachusetts. The pair are taking photos of the nearby fire lookout tower when, suddenly, they are approached by a stranger. As she closes in, they see that she is holding a lead in each hand - attached at the end of each lead is a goat.

"She has her two pet goats with her and she is telling us about how the government is spying on her using the fire tower," Kelley tells me. "I start walking away because she won't leave. So I just leave my dad there talking to her. That was good, because it allowed him to escape."

None of this would have happened in a world where game developer Campo Santo didn't make Firewatch, its 2016 indie hit about isolation, estrangement and scanning the horizons for signs of fire. The pastel-coloured, heartrending adventure impacted Kelley's life in more meaningful ways, too.

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