Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

How to use Photoshop Layer Styles: An advanced guide for game illustrators

“If you’re like many Photoshop users, you might not use Layer Styles much. Or maybe you think that they’re only good for cheesy bevel and drop shadow effects. Actually, Layer Styles can be very powerful.” …


Gamasutra News

Starting up a game business: Contemplating processes

A blog about “the dangers of processes, what is important to consider about them and how to avoid pitfalls when using any given methodology.” …


Gamasutra News

Point-and-click in the age of touch: Interface design for adventure games

“Create something new nobody has seen before that ultimately fits your game! Seriously! I’d like to encourage that! There should be more adventure games with innovative and new interfaces.” …


Gamasutra News

Tackling mental illness in game design: A Vanishing Point postmortem

A tough task: Representing mental illness with respect and relevance. “Vanishing Point lacked the laser-precise direction to unite its constituent parts into something thematic, relevant, and positive.” …


Gamasutra News

Learning a lot, fast by jamming in VR

“I cannot remember when in the past I learned so much in just one month. We proved we are capable of doing a 3D and VR game in this young technology.” …


Gamasutra News

Opinion: Why Guild Wars 2′s ‘execution’-style ban was a bad idea

ArenaNet recently banned an infamous hacker from its MMO Guild Wars 2 — by way of virtual execution. But public humiliation is not really the way to go about it, argues Katherine Cross. …


Gamasutra News

Mod Places Half-Life 2 Gravity Gun In Grand Theft Auto V

YouTube user Tom Jackson posted a video recently of a GTAV mod that places a Half-Life 2-style gravity gun in Los Santos.

You can check out the video below where Jackson uses the weapon to lift and fling cars, people, helicopters, and maybe even something bigger if you stick around until the end of the video. The gun is a fair bit more powerful than Gordon Freeman's weapon, especially when it comes to range. In the video, Jackson grabs objects from seemingly miles away.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

By the way, did you know there was a magnet gun in development for a Half-Life 2 episode?

[Source: Tom Jackson on YouTube, via reddit]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Essentials – The Last Of Us

Some of the recent entries in our Essentials series have steered back into earlier eras of gaming, including looks at Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid. But today, we’re considering a much more recent project. While The Last of Us has only been out for a couple of years, its poignant storytelling, memorable characters, immaculate pacing, and gripping gameplay make it an easy choice to join our selections of the best in interactive entertainment.

Release Year: 2013
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released for: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (2014)

(Please visit the site to view this media)
Test Chamber footage from The Last of Us Remastered (PS4) 

Naughty Dog has a long history of innovation and world-building in its back catalog, from early titles like Jak and Daxter to the more recent Uncharted titles. While The Last of Us veers into a much darker and more savage place than any of the team’s previous work, the same telltale elements that define the developer’s games are in place. Richly drawn characters, a focus on relationships, and surprising twists shape the story. Meanwhile, the gameplay is crafted with a purposeful view towards pacing, numerous moments where the action diverts to maintain excitement, and solid central mechanics that feel engrossing and approachable from multiple angles. 

In the case of The Last of Us, the gameplay is a relatively even mix of thoughtful but fast-paced stealth punctuated by moments of tense, high-threat combat. Many players have noted The Last of Us’ unfailing ability to immerse you in its world, and that’s in large part thanks to the way stealth and combat interplay. The intensity comes through smart enemy placement, as well as a crafting system that allows players to shape how they approach any given encounter. 

Interactions with the disease-carrying monsters of the world are depicted with unflinching violence. In another game, equal levels of violence might come across as playful or built for shock value. But here, the close-up experience of death is genuinely horrifying, since the characters themselves feel so real. As a consequence, whether you’re sneaking through the darkness trying to avoid sightless abominations, or holding off vicious survivors with a sniper rifle, your successes and failures carry great weight. 

While the combination of gameplay moments keeps players engaged, it’s the story behind The Last of Us that stays with you in the weeks and months after you finish playing. The post-apocalyptic world manages to avoid many of the most clichéd tropes of the milieu, offering what feels like a realistic vision of what is ultimately a fantastical scenario of zombie-like fungal-infected humans bringing down civilization. Rather than tell the tale of the fall, The Last of Us spends only a brief intro sketching out the horror of collapse, and instead jumps years ahead for the bulk of its narrative. 

The story of a disillusioned man named Joel and his traveling companion, a strong-willed girl named Ellie, can’t help but strike emotional chords. The relationship is complex, evolving over the course of many months from begrudging allies, to friends, and eventually to familial love. Joel’s grief about his own absent daughter is an ever-present phantom throughout the story, shaping his decisions throughout and informing the game’s troubling and powerful conclusion. Ellie is equally complex, as she hovers on the verge between childhood and adulthood, struggling between her dependence on others and her own independent nature. 

The Last of Us excels in finding moments of humanity in between the action. By giving the characters room to breathe and converse in between scenes of chaotic survival, Naughty Dog reminds players of why the characters are striving so hard and what the stakes mean for each of them. It’s telling that one of the game’s most memorable moments is about standing completely still, watching a small herd of animals that have come through disaster unscathed. The game’s title seems to allude beyond the obvious interpretation; this isn’t just a story about the last people on Earth, but also about the last relationships worth fighting for, and the last vestiges of their own humanity that people cling to when everything else has been lost. 

While The Last of Us’ uncompromising violence and mature themes don’t make it an ideal selection for some younger players, it nonetheless stands tall as one of the most gripping options for interactive storytelling in the entire gaming medium. The Last of Us is representative of gaming’s potential to use interactivity, rather than shy away from it, to further the goals of a narrative. We can only hope that more games follow the legacy established in Naughty Dog’s masterpiece, and offer up such a cohesive vision for gameplay, setting, characters, and action.

We select entries for The Essentials for lots of reasons, from artistic merit, to gameplay innovation. Ultimately, no matter the selection criteria, these are the games we consider pinnacles of the medium – every gamer owes it to themselves to play them. You can follow our growing list of essential titles from our hub.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Octodad: Dadliest Catch Arrives On Vita This Week

The bizarre cephalopod hiding game, Octodad: Dadliest Catch is making its way to Vita very soon.

Part humor simulator, part patience tester, Octodad: Dadliest Catch
appeared on PC and PlayStation 4 last year, and now it is arriving on Vita. The game will be cross-buy compatible, but not cross-save unfortunately, but will offer a new set of Trophies. The Vita version will also allow players to play co-op on the Vita, with each player handling one side of the Vita.

For our review of the PC version of Octodad, head here.

[Source: PlayStation Blog]

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

The Essentials – The Last Of Us

Some of the recent entries in our Essentials series have steered back into earlier eras of gaming, including looks at Resident Evil and Metal Gear Solid. But today, we’re considering a much more recent project. While The Last of Us has only been out for a couple of years, its poignant storytelling, memorable characters, immaculate pacing, and gripping gameplay make it an easy choice to join our selections of the best in interactive entertainment.

Release Year: 2013
Developer: Naughty Dog
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Released for: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (2014)

(Please visit the site to view this media)
Test Chamber footage from The Last of Us Remastered (PS4) 

Naughty Dog has a long history of innovation and world-building in its back catalog, from early titles like Jak and Daxter to the more recent Uncharted titles. While The Last of Us veers into a much darker and more savage place than any of the team’s previous work, the same telltale elements that define the developer’s games are in place. Richly drawn characters, a focus on relationships, and surprising twists shape the story. Meanwhile, the gameplay is crafted with a purposeful view towards pacing, numerous moments where the action diverts to maintain excitement, and solid central mechanics that feel engrossing and approachable from multiple angles. 

In the case of The Last of Us, the gameplay is a relatively even mix of thoughtful but fast-paced stealth punctuated by moments of tense, high-threat combat. Many players have noted The Last of Us’ unfailing ability to immerse you in its world, and that’s in large part thanks to the way stealth and combat interplay. The intensity comes through smart enemy placement, as well as a crafting system that allows players to shape how they approach any given encounter. 

Interactions with the disease-carrying monsters of the world are depicted with unflinching violence. In another game, equal levels of violence might come across as playful or built for shock value. But here, the close-up experience of death is genuinely horrifying, since the characters themselves feel so real. As a consequence, whether you’re sneaking through the darkness trying to avoid sightless abominations, or holding off vicious survivors with a sniper rifle, your successes and failures carry great weight. 

While the combination of gameplay moments keeps players engaged, it’s the story behind The Last of Us that stays with you in the weeks and months after you finish playing. The post-apocalyptic world manages to avoid many of the most clichéd tropes of the milieu, offering what feels like a realistic vision of what is ultimately a fantastical scenario of zombie-like fungal-infected humans bringing down civilization. Rather than tell the tale of the fall, The Last of Us spends only a brief intro sketching out the horror of collapse, and instead jumps years ahead for the bulk of its narrative. 

The story of a disillusioned man named Joel and his traveling companion, a strong-willed girl named Ellie, can’t help but strike emotional chords. The relationship is complex, evolving over the course of many months from begrudging allies, to friends, and eventually to familial love. Joel’s grief about his own absent daughter is an ever-present phantom throughout the story, shaping his decisions throughout and informing the game’s troubling and powerful conclusion. Ellie is equally complex, as she hovers on the verge between childhood and adulthood, struggling between her dependence on others and her own independent nature. 

The Last of Us excels in finding moments of humanity in between the action. By giving the characters room to breathe and converse in between scenes of chaotic survival, Naughty Dog reminds players of why the characters are striving so hard and what the stakes mean for each of them. It’s telling that one of the game’s most memorable moments is about standing completely still, watching a small herd of animals that have come through disaster unscathed. The game’s title seems to allude beyond the obvious interpretation; this isn’t just a story about the last people on Earth, but also about the last relationships worth fighting for, and the last vestiges of their own humanity that people cling to when everything else has been lost. 

While The Last of Us’ uncompromising violence and mature themes don’t make it an ideal selection for some younger players, it nonetheless stands tall as one of the most gripping options for interactive storytelling in the entire gaming medium. The Last of Us is representative of gaming’s potential to use interactivity, rather than shy away from it, to further the goals of a narrative. We can only hope that more games follow the legacy established in Naughty Dog’s masterpiece, and offer up such a cohesive vision for gameplay, setting, characters, and action.

We select entries for The Essentials for lots of reasons, from artistic merit, to gameplay innovation. Ultimately, no matter the selection criteria, these are the games we consider pinnacles of the medium – every gamer owes it to themselves to play them. You can follow our growing list of essential titles from our hub.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed