Showing posts with label Video Games Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video Games Related. Show all posts

9 June 2019

Xbox Showcases 60 Anticipated Games, Including 34 to Premiere in Xbox Game Pass

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Keanu Reeves, Cyberpunk 2077 Actor, unveils the release date at the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Los Angeles.
Keanu Reeves, Cyberpunk 2077 Actor, unveils the release date at the Xbox E3 2019 Briefing at the Microsoft Theater at L.A. Live, Sunday, June 9, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Casey Rodgers/Invision for Xbox/AP Images)
Xbox showcased a blockbuster lineup of 60 anticipated games for both console and PC in its Xbox E3 Briefing and shared a glimpse of the future with Project Scarlett, which launches alongside "Halo Infinite" in 2020. 

Halo Infinite
Halo Infinite 
Headlined by the biggest game of 2019, "Gears 5," along with 34 games premiering in Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox E3 Briefing delivered 11 world premieres and a record 14 games from Xbox Game Studios, which will soon include legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions.
"It's great to celebrate with our incredible fans and show how we are delivering against our vision to empower gamers to play the games they want, with the friends they want, wherever they want," said Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. "With thousands of Xbox games in development, we curated our show around our players, with new titles premiering in Xbox Game Pass across console and PC, and game streaming that enables them to play their favorite games, with their friends, wherever they go."

THE BEST WAY TO DISCOVER GREAT GAMES ON CONSOLE AND PC

PC gamers around the world can now join the Xbox Game Pass for PC beta through the new Xbox app, which is available today on Windows 10. Xbox Game Pass for PC is designed specifically for PC gamers with a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games from over 75 developers and publishers including fan-favorite PC titles like "Football Manager 2019," "Imperator: Rome" and "Metro Exodus."

  • Xbox also announced the launch of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a new plan combining the curated games library for console and PC with Xbox Live Gold.
In addition, Xbox announced a variety of new blockbuster games that are available with Xbox Game Pass for Console starting today, including "Metro Exodus," "Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition," "Borderlands: The Handsome Collection" and "Batman: Arkham Knight."

XGP Batman Arkham Knight
XGP Batman Arkham Knight
The Xbox E3 Briefing also showcased new Xbox Game Studios titles that will premiere in Xbox Game Pass, including "Gears 5," "Battletoads," "Bleeding Edge," "The Outer Worlds," "Ori and the Will of the Wisps," and 25 games from the ID@Xbox program.

WELCOMING DOUBLE FINE PRODUCTIONS TO XBOX GAME STUDIOS

Xbox announced today the intent to acquire legendary game development studio Double Fine Productions, which will bring the total number of development studios under Xbox Game Studios to 15. Led by industry veteran Tim Schafer, the addition of this boundlessly creative studio will reinforce the Xbox team's commitment to developing original content with memorable characters and unexpected stories. Double Fine showcased the long-awaited "Psychonauts 2" today on the Xbox E3 stage:

  • "PSYCHONAUTS 2" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, MAC, LINUX, PLAYSTATION 4). Razputin Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn't been the same since he was kidnapped, and what's worse, there's a mole hiding in their headquarters. Raz must use his powers to stop the mole before they execute their secret plan—to bring the murderous psychic villain, Maligula, back from the dead! "Psychonauts 2" launches worldwide in 2020.

THE FUTURE OF CONSOLE GAMING

During its briefing, Xbox demonstrated its commitment to console gaming as a critical choice for players who want a device designed, built and optimized for gaming.

Project Scarlett will set a new bar for console power, speed, and performance, arriving Holiday 2020 alongside "Halo Infinite." With a custom-designed AMD processor, high bandwidth GDDR6 memory, and a next-generation solid state drive (SSD), Project Scarlett will give developers the power they need to bring their creative visions to life. Thousands of games across four console generations will look and play best on Project Scarlett.

BRINGING XBOX TO THE CLOUD

In addition to delivering players the games they want, with the people they want, across console and PC, Xbox is also empowering people to play wherever they want by bringing Xbox to the cloud.

First, Xbox announced the ability to stream games from your Xbox One console, starting in preview this October. With console streaming, gamers will have access to their Xbox One game library and Xbox Game Pass titles on the go, streamed directly from an Xbox One console to a mobile device.

The Xbox E3 Briefing also marked a new milestone for "Project xCloud," with E3 2019 attendees being among the first in the world to play Xbox One games like "Halo 5: Guardians" and "Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice" streaming on smartphones and tablets. With Project xCloud, Xbox is investing to ensure players have the choice and freedom to play the games they want, with the friends they want, how and where they want.

THE WORLD'S MOST ADVANCED CONTROLLER

In addition, Xbox unveiled the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. Inspired by fan feedback, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the world's most advanced controller, designed with the most passionate gamers in mind.

The Elite Series 2 is the second iteration of the fan-favorite Xbox Elite Wireless Controller and is re-engineered for ultimate performance, customization, and durability, and includes 30 new and improved features such as adjustable-tension thumbsticks, wraparound rubberized grip, shorter hair-trigger locks, and up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life.

  • The Elite Series 2 will launch in 24 markets on Nov. 4 for $179.99 USD/£159.99 GPB/€179.99 EUR and is available for preorder now.

THE SINGLE LARGEST SHOWCASE OF GAMES ON STAGE THIS YEAR

Xbox includes every player in its vision for gaming, which starts with unmissable content made for players wherever they are. With thousands of Xbox games in development, Xbox offered glimpses at 60 different games from all over the globe, including blockbusters like "Cyberpunk 2077," "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order," and "Elden Ring." 

Xbox fans were also invited to venture into the action-fueled world of "CrossfireX," coming first to console on Xbox One in 2020 with special content for Xbox Game Pass members, and into the blocky depths of "Minecraft Dungeons," coming to Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch, and PlayStation 4.

The Xbox E3 Briefing also marked a celebration of 37 PC games, including "Microsoft Flight Simulator" and "Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition," both of which will premiere in Xbox Game Pass for PC. 

Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077
Fans also took their first steps into the next worlds being created by Xbox Game Studios, such as "Gears 5" and "Wasteland 3," and discovered the unexpected with 25 new and wild ID@Xbox titles.

  • All forthcoming titles from Xbox Game Studios will premiere in Xbox Game Pass.

Games shown during the Xbox E3 Briefing include:


  • "AGE OF EMPIRES: DEFINITIVE EDITION" (WINDOWS 10 PC). "Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition" celebrates the 20th anniversary of one of the most popular strategy games ever with stunning 4K Ultra HD graphics, a new and fully remastered soundtrack, and brand-new content, "The Last Khans," with three new campaigns and four new civilizations. Head online to challenge other players with 35 different civilizations in your quest for world domination throughout the ages. Choose your path to greatness with this definitive remaster to one of the most beloved strategy games of all time. "Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition" will be released this fall on Windows 10 PC, available on the Microsoft Store, Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC.
  • "BATTLETOADS" (XBOX ONE). "Battletoads" is back! Rare and Dlala Studios are bringing the beloved brawler to Xbox with a unique animation style, wild side-scrolling action and team-focused gameplay that's perfect for couch co-op. Players take control of Rash, Zitz and Pimple as they smash, stomp and slam their way through hordes of enemies and unleash choreographed chaos to defeat their greatest enemy yet. Fans can look forward to an all-new adventure packed with wild locations, unforgettable characters and surprising gameplay challenges, all with a huge emphasis on co-operative play.
  • "BLAIR WITCH" (BLOOBER TEAM, XBOX GAME PASS). From the creative minds behind the critically acclaimed Layers of Fear, experience firsthand the toll that fear can take on the mind in an original story based on the legend of Blair Witch. The upcoming title is a first-person psychological horror game that studies your reactions to danger and stress. Your darkest fears will awaken on Aug. 30, 2019.
  • "BLEEDING EDGE" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). As an all-new game from Ninja Theory, "Bleeding Edge" offers a one-of-a-kind experience that fuses third-person action combat with competitive online team gaming. The 4x4 team-fighter game provides a fast-paced yet strategic combat system that rewards technique, timing and teamwork in vibrant cyberpunk arenas. In "Bleeding Edge," each fighter can be modded to suit individual playstyles and exploit team synergies. The game is in development for Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Xbox Game Pass as an Xbox Play Anywhere title.
  • "BORDERLANDS 2: COMMANDER LILITH & THE FIGHT FOR SANCTUARY" (2K). Return to the award-winning shooter-looter "Borderlands 2" for an all-new campaign DLC that sets the stage for the upcoming "Borderlands 3." Battle new bosses, explore new areas, collect new loot, and join up with Lilith and the Crimson Raiders to take on a deranged villain hell-bent on ruling the planet. Instantly boost your level to jump right in or pursue a level cap increase to 80! Free to download until July 8 for all owners of "Borderlands: The Handsome Collection," which is now available with Xbox Game Pass.
  • "BORDERLANDS 3" (2K). The original shooter-looter returns, packing bazillions of guns and an all-new mayhem-fueled adventure! Blast through new worlds and enemies as one of four brand new Vault Hunters — the ultimate treasure-seeking badasses of the Borderlands, each with deep skill trees, abilities and customization. Play solo or join with friends to take on insane enemies, collect loads of loot, and save your home from the most ruthless cult leaders in the galaxy.
  • "CROSSFIREX" (FIRST TO CONSOLE ON XBOX ONE, XBOX GAME PASS). Crossfire, a free-to-play first-person shooter and one of the most-played PC games in the world with 650M players LTD, announced that it will come to console for the first time on Xbox One in 2020 as "CrossfireX," with all-new content for console players. Developed by the team at Smilegate Entertainment in Seoul, South Korea, Xbox players can look forward to a platform of rich experiences, including a single player campaign developed in partnership with Remedy Entertainment, battle royale, competitive multiplayer and unique content for Xbox Game Pass members.
  • "CYBERPUNK 2077" (CD PROJEKT RED). An open-world, action-adventure story set in Night City, a megalopolis obsessed with power, glamour and body modification. You play as V, a mercenary outlaw going after a one-of-a-kind implant that is the key to immortality. You can customize your character's cyberware, skillset and playstyle, and explore a vast city where the choices you make shape the story and the world around you.
  • "DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT" (BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.). Relive the story of Goku in "DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT!" Beyond the epic battles, experience life in the DRAGON BALL Z world as you fight, fish, eat and train with Goku. Explore the new areas and adventures as you advance through the story and form powerful bonds with other heroes from the DRAGON BALL Z universe.
  • "DYING LIGHT 2" (TECHLAND). The last great human settlement exists within an unforgiving, zombie-infested world, plunged into the dark ages. During the day bandits, factions and starving survivors roam the streets scavenging for scraps — or someone to take them from. At night the infected roam free, evacuating their hideouts to prey on the living. Exceptional agility and brutal combat skills make you a powerful ally and a valuable commodity. You can achieve things no one else can. Enter places no one else dares. With your unique abilities you have the power to be an agent of change within this decaying metropolis.
  • "ELDEN RING" (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). Developed by FromSoftware Inc. and BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc., "ELDEN RING" is a fantasy action-RPG adventure set within a world created by Hidetaka Miyazaki — creator of the influential "DARK SOULS" video game series; and George R.R. Martin — author of The New York Times best-selling fantasy series "A Song of Ice and Fire." Danger and discovery lurk around every corner in FromSoftware's largest game to-date.
  • "FORZA HORIZON 4" LEGO SPEED CHAMPIONS EXPANSION (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). "Forza Horizon 4" LEGO Speed Champions, the newest expansion for the award-winning "Forza Horizon 4," invites you to experience the ultimate LEGO Speed Champions fantasy brought to life at the Horizon Festival. Explore a LEGO-themed world, discover LEGO Brick Challenges such as building a Master Builder's house as your Brick Collection grows, and collect and race amazing new LEGO Speed Champions cars, including the McLaren Senna, Ferrari F40 Competizione and the 1967 Mini Cooper S Rally. "Forza Horizon 4" LEGO Speed Champions will launch worldwide on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC on June 13, 2019, as an Xbox Play Anywhere expansion and be available at a 10% discount for Xbox Game Pass members.
  • "GEARS 5" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, STEAM). "Gears 5" features five thrilling modes, including Escape, an aggressive, high-stakes, three-player co-op mode featuring a suicide squad that must work together to take out enemy hives from within. "Gears 5" will be released on Sept. 10, 2019, and will be available in early access for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Plan members and "Gears 5 Ultimate Edition" owners on Sept. 6. Preorder or play with Xbox Game Pass by Sept. 16, 2019, to get The Terminator Dark Fate Character Pack, which adds the Terminator T-800 Endoskeleton and Sarah Connor from the upcoming film "Terminator Dark Fate" as playable multiplayer characters.
  • "GEARS POP!" (iOS, ANDROID). "Gears POP!" brings together iconic Gears characters in a cute Funko Pop! style. The game is being developed in partnership with Funko (Nasdaq "FNKO") and inspired by the Gears of War vinyl collectible figures. It's the perfect slice of mobile mayhem. Fans can look for more information about "Gears POP!" on @gearspop and can preorder on iOS and Android ahead of launch later this summer.
  • "HALO INFINITE" (PROJECT SCARLETT, XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). The Master Chief returns in 2020 when "Halo Infinite" releases globally with Project Scarlett. This next chapter in 343 Industries' legendary Halo franchise invites players to join the venerable Master Chief on an all-new adventure as he uncovers the mysteries surrounding the appearance of "The Pilot" and the desolate remains of a Halo ring. "Halo Infinite" is powered by the studio's next-generation Slipspace Engine.
  • "LEGO STAR WARS: THE SKYWALKER SAGA" (WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT). Play through all nine Star Wars™ saga films in a brand-new LEGO video game unlike any other. Players will experience fun-filled adventures, whimsical humor, and the freedom to fully immerse themselves in the LEGO Star Wars universe like never before. With hundreds of characters and vehicles from across the galaxy, players can dive into their favorite Star Wars moments in an all new way, complete with the hilarious LEGO brand of fun that's sure to delight players of all ages.
  • "MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). The next generation of our longest-running franchise, "Microsoft Flight Simulator," is coming to Windows 10 with Xbox Game Pass in 2020, and coming to Xbox One at a later date. "Microsoft Flight Simulator" is specifically designed to celebrate flight simulation fans through a focus on the authenticity of flying and visually stunning environments. By revamping our tech, working in close collaboration with the community and pursuing the best partnerships across the industry, we intend to deliver the best-in-class flight simulation experience.
  • "MINECRAFT DUNGEONS" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, NINTENDO SWITCH, PLAYSTATION 4). An all-new action-adventure game set in the Minecraft universe coming to Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4! Created in the classic dungeon crawler style, "Minecraft Dungeons" takes players on an epic quest full of new characters and environments to discover with single player or in co-op multiplayer for up to four players — including couch co-op on Xbox One. "Minecraft Dungeons" will also be available with Xbox Game Pass the same day of its global release in spring 2020.
  • "ORI AND THE WILL OF THE WISPS" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC, STEAM). "Ori and the Will of the Wisps" is the highly anticipated sequel to "Ori and the Blind Forest," the acclaimed action platformer with more than 50 awards and nominations, and will be released Feb. 11, 2020. Brought to you by Xbox Game Studios and Moon Studios, the game will be available to buy on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Steam, and premiere in Xbox Game Pass for PC and Console. At E3 we showed off new, never-before-seen gameplay and provided a deeper look at the game's intense all-new combat system with Ori fighting the different towering bosses in the game's vast and exotic world.
  • "PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2" (SEGA). Japan's greatest F2P online RPG comes to North America for the first time for Xbox One! "Phantasy Star Online 2" strives for bringing a "never-ending quest." Randomized fields, Interrupt Events, and Multiparty Areas where up to 12 players can play together never make your quest stale and keep it always fresh and surprising. While keeping the easy character control system of the series, more stylish and customizable combat actions are enabled for ideal heroes of players that are given life for the quest through the revolutionized character creation system that brings ultimate designability.
  • "RPG TIME: THE LEGEND OF WRIGHT" (DESKWORKS). School's out! Meet us in an empty classroom for a grand adventure with a young aspiring game developer and his very own RPG. You're sure to be dazzled by his hand-drawn creations as you journey into the surprising and magical world of imagination! 
  • "SEA OF THIEVES" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). "Sea of Thieves" continues to grow and evolve with the on-demand competition of The Arena and story-driven quests of Tall Tales, all included as a part of the free Anniversary Update, the game's biggest content update to date. As teased at E3, players on Xbox One, Windows 10 PC and Xbox Game Pass can expect more ways to play and new shared world storytelling coming to the game in the future.
  • "SPIRITFARER" (THUNDER LOTUS, XBOX GAME PASS). Creators of hand-drawn indie experiences Thunder Lotus return with their unique third production: "Spiritfarer," a cozy management game about dying. You play Stella, ferrymaster to the deceased. Build a boat to explore the world, care for your spirit friends, and finally release them into the afterlife. Farm, mine, fish, harvest, cook and craft your way across mystical seas, as you learn how to say goodbye to your cherished friends.
  • "STAR WARS JEDI: FALLEN ORDER" (ELECTRONIC ARTS). Order 66 has been executed. As a young Padawan on the run, you've long kept your abilities hidden to stay alive. Now, you must embrace them. In a brand-new gameplay trailer debuted at the Xbox E3 briefing, see how you will use the Force to explore your environment, master lightsaber combat, and remain one step ahead of the Empire.
  • "STATE OF DECAY 2: HEARTLAND" (XBOX ONE AND WINDOWS 10 PC). "State of Decay 2: Heartland" features a return to Trumbull Valley in a new story-based adventure. Once the iconic site of the original "State of Decay" game, the towns of Spencer's Mill and Marshall are now overrun with an advanced form of blood plague: a more aggressive and far deadlier version than exists anywhere else. Though it may be familiar territory to those who homesteaded here years ago, Trumbull Valley is packed with new dangers — and unspeakable horrors. Heartland launches for all "State of Decay 2" players on June 9, 2019, for $9.99 on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, and is included with Xbox Game Pass.
  • "TALES OF ARISE" (BANDAI NAMCO ENTERTAINMENT INC.). The Tales of series returns with "Tales of Arise," a story driven RPG following the journey of two people, born on opposing sister planets, each looking to change their fate and create a new future. Featuring a new cast of characters, intense action based combat and classic Tales of gameplay mechanics, experience a tale of duality, justice and the fight for freedom.
  • "THE OUTER WORLDS" (OBSIDIAN ENTERTAINMENT AND PRIVATE DIVISION, XBOX GAME PASS). Lost in transit while on a colonist ship bound for the furthest edge of the galaxy, you awake decades later than you expected only to find yourself in the midst of a deep conspiracy threatening to destroy the Halcyon colony. As you explore the furthest reaches of space and encounter a host of factions all vying for power, who you decide to become will determine the fate of everyone in Halcyon. In the corporate equation for the colony, you are the unplanned variable.
  • "TWELVE MINUTES" (ANNAPURNA INTERACTIVE). A romantic evening takes a wrong turn when a police detective breaks into your home, accuses your wife of murder, and knocks you unconscious. In a heartbeat, you are immediately returned to the start of the evening, before it all happens again and again. A real-time, interactive thriller, where you will need to use the knowledge of what's about to happen, to change the outcome and break the twelve-minutes loop.
  • "WASTELAND 3" (DEEP SILVER, XBOX GAME PASS). "Wasteland 3" is a post-apocalyptic RPG from inXile entertainment, set in the perpetual nuclear winter of the Colorado Nation. Players will face challenging tactical combat, explore an interactive world, and engage in a deep story full of brutal ethical decisions. Create and customize a squad in single player or co-op, and whether you go in guns blazing or try to smooth over a situation through peaceful negotiation, your choices will mean life or death for those trying to survive in this harsh and unforgiving world.
  • "WAY TO THE WOODS" (ONE PIXEL DOG). A Deer and Fawn must embark on a journey through an abandoned world of the unknown to get home. A third person adventure game solo developed by Anthony Tan, featuring music from Aivi&Surasshu, composers for the show Steven Universe. Unravel the mystery of Cat Town, evade a hounding pack of wolves, and find your light to explore a world filled with the relics of the old gods: humanity.
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

16 April 2019

Announcing GearStorm: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi Military Sim - Outside the Sandbox

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GearStorm
GearStorm
Iron City Games has announced their new dystopian Sci-Fi Military Simulation FPS, GearStorm, which will release on Steam for PC in summer, 2019. Set on a distant planet in a zombie infested, post-apocalyptic future; players wage war amidst the devastation caused by the biological catastrophe known as the Phage.

GearStorm is a hardcore Sci-Fi military simulation set in a huge, persistent, destructible, open world with crafting, mining, harvesting, base building, and survival features. It's filled with next-generation combat components like player and AI damage consequences, diverse field-configurable weapons and equipment, squad support, vehicles with cockpit instruments and damage systems, stealth, and many more, including advanced AI enemies, who coordinate their attacks and take advantage of cover.

GearStorm gives players and admins unprecedented control over their environment and gaming experience. The game puts the future of the planet in the player's hands with its completely destructible terrain, quest-writing systems, and living alien world full of dynamic AI factions for you to fight alongside or against. Admins will have even greater control by being able to set weapon range and damage, weather, time of day, AI difficulty, spawning items, and base-building capabilities.

"People said not to try to do everything in one game, but we spent the last 5 years tirelessly building every feature we always wanted into the ultimate 'everything' game and now we are proud to finally share it with the world."

Brian Rivers and Shawn Ellis, Co-founders, Iron City Games
Whether you want team battles over the resources of the planet, or a story-packed colony-building experience, or a persistent player vs player environment that you can customize, this game has you covered. GearStorm isn't just another survival game, or a base-builder, or a sci-fi shooter, or a sandbox...it's all of them and more.

GearStorm
GearStorm

SOURCE: Iron City Games, LLC

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27 March 2019

Beyond 'Bandersnatch,' The Future Of Interactive TV Is Bright

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'Bandersnatch' - Make a choice to see the next phase of the story.
Make a choice to see the next phase of the story. (Netflix)
Make a choice: Do you want to engage with your media passively or actively?
The December 2018 premiere of Netflix’s “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch” offered consumers a new way to influence the entertainment they’re watching. Netflix has a growing list of choose-your-own-adventure movies. What viewers might see as a simple choice, such as which breakfast cereal a character begins the day with, could affect the whole show’s storyline. There are other choices to make as well – some of which change the plot, and some of which may not.

Viewers aren’t watching these interactive films just once. Rather, they are watching them over and over again to find each ending and post maps of the diverging plot lines. I think I sat on my couch for nearly three hours straight trying to exhaust all of “Bandersnatch’s” choices as it followed a programmer and designer through the process of game development.

I’ve been teaching and researching game design and development since 2001. I see this type of experience not as just the future of entertainment, but as the expansion of a standard method of storytelling that game designers have been using for decades. Netflix is introducing new technology and new audiences to this type of entertainment, but fiction writers have been exploring similar themes for far longer, creating stories of time travel and alternative realities that let people fantasize about redoing decisions in life.

Controlling your own destiny

There is a kind of game made popular by “Dungeons & Dragons” that provides a way to understand and expand what “Bandersnatch” explores. Role-playing games let players pick characters with multiple traits, such as strength, health and special skills, and work together to achieve story-driven goals.

Fans of “The Lord of the Rings” books and movies will recognize the idea of a team of characters with different backgrounds, abilities and motivations, all trying to work together toward a goal. The adventure is not just in whether they achieve the task, but the encounters, mishaps and even battles that happen along the way. The ultimate outcome depends on the choices players make along the way.
Many role-playing games get people together around a computer to explore a collective adventure.
Many role-playing games get people together around a computer to explore a collective adventure. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Role-playing games started with players gathered around a table, keeping notes on paper and rolling dice to incorporate the role of chance and probability into the adventure. A human game master coordinated everything, keeping track of what was happening and working with players to advance their stories and the overall plot of the adventure.

Early computer games, such as the 1980s-era Infocom text adventures, turned the role of game master over to a game designer, who controlled the choices and their consequences. In the decades since, more powerful computers have let modern digital games offer a great many choices. Teachers have begun to use elements of role-playing games to help students learn.

Illusion of choice

With “Bandersnatch,” Netflix used software to process viewers’ choices and deliver the appropriate video. When watching and “playing,” I wondered if there were too few choices. The show offered only two choices of breakfast cereal, and the viewer couldn’t choose to skip breakfast, make eggs or open the freezer to grab some ice cream. But, there’s a very good reason for these constraints.
Every story decision requires more writing and more development.
Every story decision requires more writing and more development. (Tony Hirst/Flickr, CC BY)
I often tell my students that when they’re creating role-playing games, the problem isn’t giving players choices: It’s deciding what happens next. Giving players lots of options is great, and fun – but with every choice the job gets harder. If there are three kinds of ice cream in the freezer, that’s three different sets of video to show vanilla, chocolate and strawberry – and possibly three different scripts, if the choice actually has consequences.

In game design, we call this a “branching narrative,” where every choice spawns as many new branches as there are options, and the tree gets bigger and bigger all the time. A movie with an enormous number of options would require multiple sets, extra time for actors, huge amounts of special effects work, extended production times and increasing budgets.

Such a complex film would also take viewers huge amounts of time to experience. Digital game players can handle this sort of effort by saving their progress and taking a break, returning to resume play hours later, or even days.

With an interactive movie, would a viewer want several days’ worth of watching? I don’t know if anyone has an idea of how long a typical interactive movie experience should last. My three hours on the couch watching “Bandersnatch” seemed about right – and ran through most of the options.

The Netflix producers borrowed from game designers, and the classic “Choose Your Own Adventure” book series, to give viewers the illusion of choices when really the alternatives were limited. My own research recommended the same technique: Allow the players some choices, but bring them back to the main narrative thread at key points.

Future of interactive media

There will be more interactive movies. Netflix has built its own software for “Bandersnatch,” which it can use for other stories too. There are already several addictive interactive kids’ shows, including “Puss in Book: Trapped in an Epic Tale,” “Buddy Thunderstruck: The Maybe Pile” and “Stretch Armstrong: The Breakout.”

Gamers are already familiar with this convergence of film, interactivity and branching narrative. Cinematic video games, like “Indigo Prophecy” and “Heavy Rain,” let players make choices in dialog and other cinematic aspects, all of which alter the endings. An academically published game, “Façade,” is considered important not just for showing that scholarly games can be fun to play, but also demonstrating that academic concepts of branching narrative and story can create meaningful play: The player visits a couple’s apartment, and depending on where the player moves and what the player says, the couple reacts in different ways.
Engaging with a couple on the rocks. 'Façade,' by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern.
Engaging with a couple on the rocks. 'Façade,' by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern., (CC BY-ND)
I anticipate different genres of shows will explore interactive formats. Imagine playing through historical fiction where you can choose to execute Marie Antoinette or not. I also expect viewers will be able to make their choices in different ways than just pressing buttons on their remotes – perhaps by using voice recognition on their phones.

If artificial intelligence and machine learning systems get better at telling stories, viewers might even be able to suggest new possible choices, with the resulting content generated on the fly while people watch. Of course, there’s a strong overlap with virtual reality, offering immersive escapism, which is, in my experience, a key goal of interactivity.

In the meantime, “Bandersnatch” fans who want to continue exploring choosing their own adventures to direct a story can look for local gaming groups and game stores. “Dungeons & Dragons” and “HackMaster” are regaining popularity lately. So is live-action role-playing, in which people physically act out their fictional encounters. In these environments, players can ask “what if” without running into the limitations of software development and movie production teams. Human players can engage in the full extent of their imagination without any illusion of choice.

The Conversation
Live-action role playing.

About Today's Contributor:

David Schwartz, Associate Professor of Interactive Games and Media, Rochester Institute of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

21 March 2019

On 20th Anniversary of the Matrix, MIT Game Industry Veteran To Release The Simulation Hypothesis

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The Simulation Hypothesis - Front Cover
The Simulation Hypothesis - Front Cover (PRNewsfoto/Rizwan Virk)
At the Game Developers Conference (GDC), bestselling author, renowned MIT computer scientist and Silicon Valley video game designer Rizwan Virk announced that his book, The Simulation Hypothesis, will be released on the 20th anniversary of the release of the film, the Matrix

  • This is the first serious book by a video game industry veteran to explain one of the most consequential theories of our time, that we are living inside a sophisticated video-game.
"When the Matrix came out in 1999, it was in the realm of science fiction," said Virk. "In the 20 years since, with the evolution of MMORPGs, Virtual Reality, AR, AI, and Neuroscience, we are getting closer and closer. In this book, I lay out a clear path from today's tech to building the Matrix."
Virk is the founder of Play Labs @ MIT, a video game startup incubator at the MIT Game Lab, and co-founder, advisor and investor in many video game startups including Discord, Telltale Games, Funzio, Gameview, Tapjoy and Sliver.tv.

Pulling together concepts from computer science, artificial intelligence, video games, quantum physics, and both ancient eastern and western religious texts, Virk shows how all of these traditions come together to point to the idea that we may be inside a simulated reality like the Matrix.

Science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick have explored the idea of a simulated reality. More recently, prominent figures like Elon Musk, and scientists like Neil deGrasse Tyson and others have spoken about the idea. 


Futurists like Google's Ray Kurzweil have popularized the idea of downloading consciousness, and Oxford's Nick Bostrom published a paper in 2003 that concluded we are living in a simulation.

The book explores the history of video game development and brings together arguments from these diverse thinkers. The Simulation Hypothesis is for computer scientists, science fiction fans, video game enthusiasts, and spiritual seekers looking to understand the nature of reality.

The book includes endorsements by Noah Falstein, Tessa B. Dick, Jacques Vallee, Dannion Brinkley, Brent Bushnell and Diana Walsh Pasulka. 


SOURCE: Rizwan Virk


11 March 2019

Experience The Cult Horror Game, "White Day," Through VR In The Latest Title: "White Day: Courage Test"

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Experience the cult horror game, "White Day," through VR.
Experience the cult horror game, "White Day," through VR.
Initially released in 2001, White Day -- A Labyrinth Named School, is a renowned cult horror classic game, which is now making a comeback as a VR game. Sonnori has announced that it will be launching a new title in the White Day series: White Day: Courage Test.

The White Day series was initially released as a PC game in 2001. It was also released as a paid mobile app, which has had over 600,000 downloads. The White Day series was also released for PS4 and Steam.

  • Specifically designed for VR theme parks, White Day: Courage Test has been developed using the latest Unreal Engine and VR optimized game play to be a motion-based game providing an extremely immersive experience.
When the game begins, the player is a student who has entered the school at night as a part of a school club's test of courage. He/she explores the school, looking for various hidden items, while also trying to find the way out of the school. Strange things begin to happen during game play.

With a focused composition optimized for VR theme parks and programmed "randomness," White Day: Courage Test offers fresh entertainment for repeat players. 


Also, the visual and sound effects that perfectly recreate a school at night provide horror-filled fun that differentiates White Day from other VR horror games.

White Day: Courage Test features a tutorial that guides the player from the start about how to play the game, eliminating the need for training staff and making game operation in VR theme parks a lot easier.

  • White Day: Courage Test differs from normal VR theme park games because only one person can wear the VR head-mounted display (HMD). However, in White Day: Courage Test, users can interact with other players during game play. Secondary players can hide or move objects in the game via a wirelessly connected tablet PC, getting in the way of the main player or challenging the main player to a battle of wits. 
White Day: Courage Test is a new game that aims to maximize the attraction of the White Day series. Its quality outranks any horror game that may be enjoyed in the general VR theme park. Users can uniquely interact with other users through the "dual play" setting. 
An official at Sonnori said, "Currently, we are focusing on sales of the B2B version for the VR theme park. We have tested it in Korea over the past year and it has been upgraded into a more stable version. We will work with our international partners to distribute the game globally."
 Visit the White Day: Courage Test Introduction Page for more info.

SOURCE: Sonnori

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19 February 2019

PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode

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PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode - First Resident Evil Crossover With Mobile Game Launching Around The World
PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2 Launch "Zombie: Survive Till Dawn" Gameplay Mode - First Resident Evil Crossover With Mobile Game Launching Around The World
Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation (PUBG Corp.) announced today the launch of a new gameplay mode called "Zombie: Survive till Dawn", a crossover collaboration between PUBG Mobile and Resident Evil 2. 

In late 2018 PUBG Mobile announced the cross-branding partnership with Capcom's game Resident Evil 2 at the PUBG MOBILE STAR CHALLENGE 2018 Global Finals. The announcement generated significant interest and culminated in the launch of this new gameplay mode.
The gameplay will feature three days and two nights in one 30-minute round that features 60 players within the usual PUBG Mobile game structure. Players will encounter multiple types of zombies from the Resident Evil series such as Police, Licker and G1 as well as other zombies created by the PUBG Mobile team.
As Survive till Dawn turns from day through dusk and into night time, the zombies become considerably more aggressive and will pose a significant challenge for PUBG Mobile players. 
  • During the day players can defeat zombies from long range and conduct farming. 
  • Dusk preps the players for fighting as zombies become more dangerous and visibility drops.
  • Night time sees the zombies become enraged and players will have limited PvP engagements due to very low visibility. 
  • The legendary Resident Evil 2 characters G (Stage 1) and Tyrant will also appear through random spawning during night time. 
  • Also, players can win Leon and Claire skin sets, and Ada and Marvin costumes in-game, which are all popular characters in Resident Evil 2.
"Our Resident Evil 2 partnership announcement generated a lot of buzz in the media and among both games' rabid fan bases," said Vincent Wang, General Manager of Global Publishing Center, Tencent. "We're thrilled to launch Survive till Dawn, a new gameplay mode that offers the very best of our two game platforms. The Resident Evil series is iconic among gamers and we anticipate incredible support for this gameplay that pushes players to survive a night of terror."

PUBG Mobile has enjoyed unprecedented success since its launch, exceeding 30 million daily active users and 200 million downloads in just eight months. In 2018, PUBG Mobile took home multiple awards and nominations, just eight months after the game's release. 

The game earned three awards at the Google Play Awards last month, including "Best Game." It also won the "Mobile Game of the Year" award at the 2018 Golden Joysticks and received nominations from The Game Awards and the App Store.

About Resident Evil:

The Resident Evil franchise features survival horror games in which players utilize a variety of weapons and other items to escape terrifying situations. 

Cumulative sales of the games in the series now total 88 million units* since the first title debuted in 1996. More than 20 years later, support from the passionate fan base across the globe even today makes it Capcom's flagship game series. 

Originally released in 1998, Resident Evil 2 went on to achieve cumulative sales of 4.96 million units, making it the fourth best-selling game in the Resident Evil franchise. 

The new Resident Evil 2 has shipped 3 million units* globally since it was released in January. 

*As of January 28, 2019

  • Title: Resident Evil 2
  • Genre: Survival horror
  • Platforms: PlayStation4 system, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: January 25, 2019
  • Official Site: www.residentevil2.com
SOURCE: PUBG Mobile

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13 February 2019

#ArmMeWithGames: Leading Game Designers & Educators Come Together to Recommend 20 Empathy Games For Young People Growing Up In The Shadow Of School Shootings

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Literary Safari Media's #ArmMeWithGames list features 20 empathy and social emotional learning game recommendations for young people growing up in the shadow of lockdown drills and school shootings
Literary Safari Media's #ArmMeWithGames list features 20 empathy and social emotional learning game recommendations for young people growing up in the shadow of lockdown drills and school shootings. It is a companion resource to the #ArmMeWithBooks list which features reading recommendations from over 50 award-winning children's authors and librarians.
In remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the New York City-based studio Literary Safari Media has released an #ArmMeWithGames list of 20 award-winning games that can build empathy and social-emotional learning

At a time when video games are blamed for violence and even, mass school shootings, the #ArmMeWithGames list invites parents and educators to take a more nuanced view toward the role of games in the lives of young people. 

The list features letters to parents and teachers from Joel Levin, technology educator and founder of MinecraftEdu, and Dr. Karen Schrier, author of Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change, along with game recommendations from leading game designers, researchers, and educators such as Barry Joseph, head of Digital at Girl Scouts USA, Asi Burak, author of Power Play: How Video Games Can Save the World, and Susanna Pollack, President of Games for Change. 

Featured games include Never Alone (E-Line Media), Sign, and Zoo-U.
"This list curates some of the best and most innovative game experiences that can help foster social emotional learning in children," says Matthew Farber, a professor of technology at the University of Northern Colorado and author of Game-Based Learning in Action.
Also releasing in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland tragedy is a free, downloadable adaptation of Literary Safari's graphic novella William H.G. Butler Middle School
Also releasing in remembrance of the one-year anniversary of the Parkland tragedy is a free, downloadable adaptation of Literary Safari's graphic novella William H.G. Butler Middle School, which was created on Instagram, and a new discussion guide for students, parents, and teachers that was written by a middle school Language Arts teacher. " "The format of the narrative feels very connected to our techno-cultural moment," says Josh Neufeld, Eisner Award nominated comics journalist.
⏩ The #ArmMeWithGames list is a companion resource to Literary Safari's #ArmMeWithBooks list of book recommendations from award-winning children's authors which was released in December 2018 on the 6th anniversary of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. In creating these resources, the studio was inspired by the viral teacher-driven #ArmMeWith social media campaign that emerged in response to politicians' suggestion that teachers be armed with guns to prevent further school shootings.
"While gun reform legislation and school safety take center stage amongst legislators and in the media, what I see as being less discussed is the very real impact of lockdown drills and school shootings on the emotional lives of young people, educators, and families," said Sandhya Nankani, founder of Literary Safari and a mother herself. "This week, we are also releasing a downloadable PDF version of our Instagram-style graphic novella, William H.G. Butler Middle School, which inspired our #ArmMeWith campaign. The graphic novella comes with a discussion guide written by a middle school teacher. It is our hope that the story and the companion questions can be used as a tool to foster dialogue among and between students, parents, and educators."

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12 February 2019

Nerdist and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Present "The Science of Mortal Kombat" Series, Premiering Feb. 18

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The Science of Mortal Kombat
The Science of Mortal Kombat - Premieres February 18th
Nerdist's hit series Because Science has collaborated with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment to explore the science of Fatalities and iconic moves featured in the upcoming Mortal Kombat 11 videogame.

The original limited series, The Science of Mortal Kombat, premieres Feb. 18, guest starring reigning UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, and marks Nerdist's largest production ever, highlighting the creatively brutal and visually stunning gameplay which the best-selling Mortal Kombat franchise is known for.


The Science of Mortal Kombat will feature host Kyle Hill, professional Science Communicator and host of Nerdist's hit show Because Science, as he breaks down the science behind iconic Mortal Kombat 11 Fatalities, Scorpion's deadly spear attack, and powerful Krushing Blows with the help of special guests – Cormier and former WWE Champion, CM Punk.

Kyle and YouTuber and Mythbuster Allen Pan will utilize special super slow-motion cameras allowing for enhanced visuals to analyze and break down each iconic fight move in Mortal Kombat 11, such as the pressure and strength needed to break bones, the scientific analysis of a character's superhuman abilities, and much more.

The Trailer:

The six-episode series of high-intensity fight re-enactments and behind-the-scenes footage will begin airing weekly via Nerdist.com and YouTube.com/BecauseScience on Feb. 18. and can be watched on Nerdist and Because Science channels any time after each Monday airing.
Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest installment in the critically-acclaimed franchise, developed by award-winning NetherRealm Studios, and is scheduled for release beginning April 23 for PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation4 Pro computer entertainment system, the Xbox One family of devices including the Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch system and PC. 

To learn more about Mortal Kombat 11, please visit www.mortalkombat.com 

About Nerdist:

Nerdist is a multi-platform media and entertainment network for fans of genre and pop culture content. With flagship content including Nerdist News hosted by Jessica Chobot, weekly shows Because Science and The Dan Cave, and daily in-depth editorial coverage, Nerdist reaches millions of people every day on Nerdist.com and on leading platforms including the premium streaming service Alpha, YouTube, and Facebook. 

Nerdist is owned by Legendary Entertainment and is part of Legendary Digital Networks, which also includes Geek & Sundry and Amy Poehler's Smart Girls.

About Because Science:



How hot is a lightsaber?
Why does Captain America's shield bounce?
How much energy does it take Thanos to throw a moon?
Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill answers questions about fictional phenomenon using real-world science in vlogs, livestreams, and a weekly show, whose popularity has grown exponentially since its launch in 2018. Kyle created the popular YouTube channel, which rocketed to 100,000 subscribers in just two weeks, and has since grown to over 750,000 subscribers with more than 150 million views. To date, fans have watched nearly one billion minutes of Because Science, or over 1800 years! Kyle's work has appeared in WIRED, Scientific American, and The Boston Globe. He has hosted MythBusters: The Search and appeared as an expert on Bill Nye Saves the World, FOX News, and BBC World Radio.

About NetherRealm Studios:

NetherRealm Studios is a leader in the development of interactive entertainment, and the creator of the billion-dollar Mortal Kombat franchise. Mortal Kombat has spawned two theatrical films, multiple television series, and has sold over 42 million games to date. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the award-winning NetherRealm team has been working and creating games together since 1992. 

Additional information about NetherRealm Studios can be found at www.netherrealm.com.



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